DCMS Promise £300m For Sports In Survival Package

As announced in its ‘Sport Winter Survival Package’, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has promised £ 300 million to secure the immediate future of professional sports.

Sports governing bodies will be made available to allocate emergency funds to clubs and groups that have been affected by the current COVID pandemic.

Sports England would oversee the distribution of funds, which DCMS confirmed had been allocated following representations made by individual sports on a ‘needs of assessment basis.’

DCMS clarified that the financing will consist mainly of loans, with its most recent involvement promoting the current national furlough scheme and business interruption loan programme of the HM Treasury.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, announcing the funding plan, commented: “Sports clubs are the beating hearts of their communities and this £300m boost will help them survive this difficult winter period.

“We promised to stand by sports when we had to postpone fans returning. We are doing just that by delivering another £300m on top of existing business support schemes.”

The Rugby Union will receive the most money, as £ 135 million in funding will be allocated to the sport. The RFU will receive £ 44 million, Premiership Rugby will receive £ 59 million, the Championship Clubs will share £ 9 million and the lower league teams will receive £ 23 million.

The DCMS will also provide the National League of Football with an estimated £ 28 million in support. The extra investment from the League follows a cash infusion of £ 10 million received from the National Lottery Fund.

The National League announced that £ 14 million will be distributed to its 3-to-6 tier teams, while the Women’s Super League and FA Championships would be given £ 3 million.

Mark Bullingham, the FA Chief Executive, said: “This financial support is crucial as these clubs are the heartbeat of their communities and it would be a travesty if they were not able to survive. We have worked hard with the National League, Government and The National Lottery to make this happen and would like to thank everyone involved.”

UK racing, meanwhile has secured some much-needed relief as ‘racecourse management’ has reserved £ 40 million. It comes as the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) finalises through an inbound recession its 2021 economic programme to help the sport.

The BHA tweeted its support of funding: “Racing welcomes the announcement by @DCMS that up to £40m of loans will be made available for British racing. This recognises racing’s position as the UK’s second biggest spectator sport, the many livelihoods it supports and the financial peril faced across our industry.”