Rugby league to benefit from latest tranche of Government funding
Rugby League is one sport to benefit from a near £40 million in loan support from the Tory Government.
The Government announced horse racing, speedway and drag racing will also receive funding from the winter phase of its sport survival package.
There will also be approximately £10m for football clubs from the top six tiers of the National League system.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England said the horse racing industry will benefit from £21m in loan support to help ease the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The funding will ensure essential race-day integrity costs and related health and safety expenditure are safeguarded, enabling the Levy Board to continue their programme of financial support and funding into the industry which has suffered considerably as a result of Covid-19,” the DCMS said.
Rugby league clubs will receive a further £16.7m in loans as a top-up to the existing £16m emergency loan scheme provided by the Government in May 2020.
“This is in addition to £1.45m of grant support from the scheme for the community and women’s games which complements £300,000 grassroots financial support through the Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund,” the DCMS said.
“It follows the National Lottery announcing it had become an official partner of the Rugby Football League and of women’s and girls’ rugby league last week.”
Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “We are very grateful to Government and Sport England for their ongoing practical support to Rugby League – they are key partners to the sport.”
Speedway clubs have been offered £300,000 in loan support and Europe’s first permanent drag racing venue, the Santa Pod Raceway, will receive loans of £843,000.
The DCMS said a further 20 clubs in the top two tiers of the National League system will receive funding of loans and grants worth £6.8m, bringing the total provided to clubs at these levels through the winter phase of the Sport Survival Package to £11.5m.
“It follows the Government announcing an initial 19 step 1-2 clubs had been offered loan packages worth up to £5.4m on February 19,” the DCMS said.
“Steps 3-6 of the National League system have also been awarded a further £3.1m of grant support, following up to £10m grant funding for clubs in Steps 3-6 being announced on January 27.
“This will bring the total support for the 880 clubs at Steps 3-6 of the National League system to up to £13.1m, with funds again to be distributed to clubs through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, administered by the Football Foundation.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We promised to stand by and protect our major spectator sports when we had to postpone fans returning.
“Through our Sport Survival Package and existing business support schemes, we have helped hundreds of clubs to survive this difficult winter period.
“As the turnstiles begin to open over the coming weeks, players, staff and fans across the country can now look forward to a full return to action with confidence.”
Chair of the Independent Levy Board Sir Ian Cheshire added: “Following the Government’s announcement that a further £300m of Sport Survival funding has been made available, the Independent Board will now focus on getting this funding to those summer spectator sports in most urgent need.”