The British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF) has revealed a £1.1 million sponsorship package for the greyhound racing industry, to which the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has reacted favourably.
A total of £1.1 million will be invested in the sport to fund three main projects aimed at ensuring both the sport’s longevity and the welfare of the dogs involved.
Support for worthwhile projects
Joe Scanlon, Chairman of the BGRF said: “When you’re relying on volunteer contributions which are received six months in arrears, forecasting our income is always tricky, but with all that has happened this year it’s proven a real challenge.
“It is therefore particularly satisfying that the board have been able to find the money to support these very worthwhile projects.”
The bulk of the money – £690,000 – will go into equipping trainers’ vehicles with air conditioning and adequate ventilation in order to create a better atmosphere for greyhounds when commuting to and from race tracks.
Routine PAS external residential kennel checks, which are due to begin in April this year, will earn an extra £310,000.
While the GBGB has a budget for teacher support, the BGRF will provide more resources to help trainers achieve the requirements that inspectors aim for.
Greyhound retirement scheme
Finally, with the opening of the Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) in September 2020, the establishment of private homing centres for elderly greyhounds will earn a £100,000 boost.
The BGRF “felt appropriate to endorse these new relationships” with a set of selective grants to ensure elderly greyhounds have a stable existence in the independent institutions’ kennels, since all of these homing centres are informal, voluntary, and non-profit organisations.
Mark Bird, GBGB’s Managing Director, shared his excitement at the news and explained: “We were invited by the BGRF to submit a proposal as to how GBGB might spend the available money on welfare projects.
“We are particularly pleased to be in receipt of this funding as the money we receive via the levy from bookmakers is likely to be significantly reduced this year due to the impact of COVID restrictions.
“This sum will go directly to funding important welfare projects that fall under our Greyhound Commitment, from helping our trainers to improve their facilities to supporting our approved GRS homing centres provide the best care possible for their retired racers.”
Government relief package
In addition to the GBRF’s latest funding decision, British greyhound racing has gained considerable financial assistance from the British government, with a £1 million relief package announced in January 2021.
However, this funding was mainly meant to guarantee the sport’s longevity during the coronavirus pandemic, while the BGRF’s investment is based on the health of participating greyhounds.