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Swim England welcomes new fund to help clubs struggling financially

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has welcomed a new package to help clubs that are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sport England has announced £195 million is being made available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the current crisis.

It includes a £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid for grants of between £300 and £10,000.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “We’re well aware of the impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on some of our clubs across the country.

“It’s fantastic to see Sport England launch this Community Emergency Fund to help clubs across all sports that are struggling the most in this difficult time.

“We’d encourage our swimming clubs to carefully look at this criteria and see if this financial package can assist those of you most in need through this crisis.

“These are worrying times for our clubs but we will get through this unprecedented situation and I’d like to thank Sport England for delivering this financial support.

“There are also plenty of other government funding sources that could be a huge help to our clubs as well and we’d urge them to investigate if these are a viable option.

“We are also exploring other opportunities to support swimming clubs financially and hope to announce further details in the near future.”

As well as the Community Emergency Fund, Sport England has also announced:

  • A £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they’re facing specific financial difficulty
  • An additional £55 million to support the sport and physical activity sector during the ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active
  • And £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021-22 to give long-term certainty to more than 100 well-established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.

Important role to play

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

“Sporting events are being cancelled, gyms and leisure centres are closed, clubs and community groups are not operating, and children and young people are all at home,” added Tim.

“This is impacting the sector financially in a significant way, although it is heartening to see huge amounts of innovation and agility, with many operators getting classes online in a matter of days to enable home workouts for example.

“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity at a grassroots level, we have an important role to play both in ensuring that we support those with short-term cashflow concerns and immediate loss of income, as well as those facing medium and long-term survival challenges and financial difficulties.

“We want the sector not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future and this package will ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to that.”

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said everything is being done to support the sport sector and keep Britain active through these challenging times.

“This multi-million-pound package of public funding will not only help local sports clubs facing financial concerns but also encourage people to stay fit at home,” he added.

“When it is safe to do so, we want our brilliant community sport organisations to bounce back and we will work alongside Sport England and others to make that happen.”

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