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Sports Clubs can vie for slice of £16.5million 'Return to Play' cash

Published Friday, 23 October 2020

Sports clubs and groups in Ribble Valley are invited to vie for a slice of Sport England’s £16.5million Return to Play Fund.

The fund is available in three strands to boost sport and physical activity during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is aimed at groups, clubs and organisations impacted by virus restrictions and will focus on inequalities in sport that have worsened over the last six months.

Ricky Newmark, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community services committee, said: “The disruption experienced by the sport and leisure sector over the past few months has been unprecedented at a time when keeping active and healthy has never been more important.

“With ever-changing coronavirus restrictions, grassroots organisations urgently need support to help them put measures in place to get people active in a Covid-safe way over the coming months.”  

The fund is made up of three parts: The Return to Play Small Grants Scheme offers between £300 and £10,000 to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations, respond to the challenge of operating in a Covid-safe way, such as delivering activities in smaller groups, having the correct hygiene and safety equipment, and training club volunteers.

The Return to Play Community Asset Fund will provide grants from £10,001 to £50,000 to help organisations adapt and reopen safely, including improved ventilation, additional changing facilities and adapting vacant community buildings for temporary use.

Finally, the Return to Play Active Together Scheme will help organisations set up their own campaigns to cover loss of income by matching crowdfunding of up to £10,000.

The Return to Play Fund particularly aims to support clubs and organisations working with people who find it more difficult to be active, including minority ethnic groups, people on lower incomes, those disproportionately financially affected by the pandemic, the disabled and people with long-term health conditions.

Councillor Newmark added: “Local clubs offer so much to their communities and it is hugely important that they are supported to help people stay fit and healthy, as we head into winter.  

“This funding will hopefully help our residents enjoy sport safely and boost their mental and physical health in the challenging months ahead.”

Further details about the Return to Play Fund and how to apply are available at


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