New emergency flood relief fund released for sports organisations hit by storm Ciara

Tom Jamesin Industry News

Sports pitches and facilities destroyed or damaged by Storm Ciara will be able to apply for emergency grants of up to £5,000 through a new fund set up to get facilities back up and running quickly.

The funding - from Sport England - is available to sports clubs, local authorities and other community sports organisations to help pay for emergency repairs to damaged facilities such as football, rugby and cricket pitches, water sports centres, pavilions, changing rooms and floodlights.

The grants can be provided in as little as three weeks to affected sports organisations.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO at Sport England, said: "When flooding happens, the priority must be making sure people are safe, they can get back into their homes and vital public services are back up and running."

"But we know from the floods in 2013 and 2015 that flood water can cause significant damage to sports pitches and pavilions, changing and social facilities."

"We're making emergency funding available now so when the time is right sports organisations can pay for rebuilds and repairs quickly. We want to ensure that the sports facilities in local communities that help keep people physically active are not forgotten in the floods so they are ready to use as soon as people want them."

Early indications are that the storms have had the biggest impact on sports facilities in Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Bad weather is particularly affecting sports such as cricket and rugby because of flooded and waterlogged pitches, and water sports where many clubs are on riverbanks or in coastal areas.

Nigel Harrison, CEO at Yorkshire Sport, said: "Yorkshire Sport Foundation is working with local authorities, national governing bodies of sport and other partner organisations in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire to compile details of the facilities affected by the floods."

"The impact is far-reaching and covers large parts of the area. We welcome Sport England's early intervention, and we look forward to working with them to help get the affected clubs and facilities up and running again as soon as possible."

• To apply for emergency funding, click HERE for Sport England's online application form.