As part of the Sport Winter Survival Package, which will identify women’s sport as a priority, the UK government has announced the second tranche of funding.
In November last year, the government put together a winter rescue package worth £ 300 million for 11 sports struggling financially due to the coronavirus epidemic, consisting mostly of loans.
Covering critical costs
A combined £ 2.25 million grant assistance will be made available to the Women’s Super League and second tier FA Women’s Championship in the new tranche to cover critical costs.
In the meantime, England Netball and the Vitality Netball Superleague, which began on February 12, the 2021 season, will benefit from grants of £ 4.2 million.
In basketball, British Basketball League clubs were allocated £ 2.5 million in grants and loans, including Women’s British Basketball League outfits, with Basketball England earning a £ 200,000 grant.
For Badminton England, a £ 1.3 million grant was also set aside to “ensure the survival” of the association along with the aforementioned governing bodies.
Commitment to help
The Secretary for Culture, Oliver Dowden, explained: “We are committed to helping our treasured sports through these challenging times. And today’s announcement is more evidence of our support for them.
“In particular, Women’s sport has faced acute pressures. The past few years have seen fantastic progress – with greater participation, employment, commercial opportunities and visibility in the media. I am determined not to let it take a back seat again.
“This targeted funding will enable sports to keep playing and inspire many more stars of the future.”
While the first tranche mostly targeted rugby union, with £ 135 million pumped into the sport, the second tranche would include funding for women’s football, which during the third national lockdown was paused from levels three to seven. The Women’s FA Cup was also postponed, with the competition listed as ‘non-elite’ in the second round, on the back of new restrictions.
Chair of the independent Board, Sir Ian Cheshire said: “Following thorough conversations with each party to assess their individual needs, the Independent Board is pleased to be able to confirm a substantial package of survival funding for netball, badminton, basketball and women’s football, totalling over £10 million.
“For those confirmed as recipients of support as part of this second tranche, this funding is vital in helping keep their respective clubs and leagues operational at this time.”