Coronavirus: Calls for sportscotland to act after Sport England offers £195 million support package

Scottish golf clubs are waiting anxiously to see if sportscotland is set to come up with a similar package as their English counterpart to help sport and physical activity during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Martin Dempster
Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 9:10 am
Sport England has come up with a 195 million package to help sport and activity during the coronavirus outbreak, including emergency grants up to 10,000.
Sport England has come up with a 195 million package to help sport and activity during the coronavirus outbreak, including emergency grants up to 10,000.

It was announced last night that Sport England is coughing up a whopping £195 million, which is made up of a combination of money from the National Lottery and government funding.

A £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into, is offering grants between £300 and £10,000.

In addition, a £5 million pot is being made available for existing partners if they're facing specific financial difficulty.

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An additional £55 million will support the sport sector during the current period of restrictions.

This will help fund "new and innovative ways to keep people active" and, when the period of restrictions is over, "help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment".

On top of all that, a £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 will help give "long-term certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England".

Alongside this, given cashflow concerns in the sport sector, England Golf has also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding - 50 per cent of awards - to partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

England Sport chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said he hoped the package would help the sector get through these “extremely challenging times”.

The package has been applauded in Scotland, with club secretaries now hoping sportscotland will come up with something similar north of the Border.

"I think it is terrific that Sport England have responded to the crisis so quickly and announced these funding measures that undoubtedly will be required by various clubs throughout England in the coming months," said Gullane Golf Club secretary Gordon Simpson.

"Physical activity will play such an important part in the recovery of communities once the lockdown has been lifted and we need to try to safeguard the futures of every local bowling, golf or football club around.

"This will be tremendously difficult in this economy so this assistance can be the difference between carrying on or not.

"Obviously I sincerely hope that sportscotland come out with something similar in the very near future as it could be the savior of many clubs throughout Scotland.

"I just wish that we were the driving force behind this rather than waiting with baited breath to see if Scotland follows the example set out by England Sport."

Ratho Park secretary Robert Dobbie added: "My reaction would be that it's good news for sport and sports clubs across England, hopefully sportscotland won’t be far behind announcing their package.

"Sport in Scotland is facing the same difficulties as sport in England."

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