Image: Scott Wiggins / Coventry Blaze Press Release
Image: Scott Wiggins / Coventry Blaze Press Release

Local clubs set to benefit from Winter Survival Package

Coronavirus-hit spectator sports in England will receive a combined £300m of emergency funding from the government, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced.

Local clubs Coventry Blaze, Leamington FC, Coventry United, Wasps, and Coventry Rugby are expected to benefit from the newly-launched Winter Survival Package.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for DCMS, said: “We promised to stand by sports when we had to postpone fans returning. We are doing just that by delivering another £300 million on top of existing business support schemes.

“Britain is a sports powerhouse, and this Government will do everything we can to help our precious sports and clubs make it through Covid-19.”

The funding, which – according to the government – will be administered as loans, will focus on sports severely impacted by coronavirus regulations throughout the winter.

Preliminary allocations of the funding indicate that rugby union will be the main beneficiary of government support, with the sport allocated £135 million.

Clubs in steps one and two of the National League pyramid are to set to receive a combined £11 million from the Winter Survival Package, in addition to funding previously supplied by the National Lottery.

The Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) has secured £4 million from the government, with a Coventry Blaze spokesperson telling The Boar “on the face of it, it’s good news.”

It’s important that we consider the sustainability of the entire Elite League both now and over the next few years before we make any final decisions

– Tony Smith

In a statement on behalf of the EIHL, league chairman Tony Smith said: “We need to take a look at the finer details of the support package available, and how it should be used, before we can make any further comment about what this means going forward.

“It will be important for us to understand how much of the funding is made up of grants or loans, as that will have a large impact on how we can proceed, together with any additional requirements we need to fulfil from Sport England who will now take control of the funding process.

“There is a lot more detail still to come from the DCMS and Sport England that we need to know, and above all it’s important that we consider the sustainability of the entire Elite League both now and over the next few years before we make any final decisions.”

English racecourses are also in-line to receive £40 million from the government, with a further £28 million allocated to non-league and women’s football clubs.

The Rugby Football League has been awarded £12 million of top-up funding, with £6 million earmarked for the owners and operators of major motor-racing circuits – including Silverstone and Goodwood.

Other recipients include the Lawn Tennis Association (£5 million), netball (£4 million), basketball (£4 million), badminton (£2 million), and greyhound racing (£1 million).

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