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Mayor welcomes emergency grant support for local sports clubs

14 April 2020

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, has welcomed the announcement of a £500,000 support fund by the Department for Communities for sports clubs currently struggling during the COVID-19 emergency.
The Sports Hardship Fund will be administered by Sport NI, and grants of up to £2,000 are now available to assist with costs incurred from April 1.
The grants will cover essential costs to maintain facilities including rent/ leasing costs, utility costs, essential ground maintenance and insurance.
Urging local clubs to find out if they are eligible, Mayor Boyle said the support would be warmly welcomed. “This is fantastic news for local clubs who have been hard hit by the loss of critical income to sustain facilities at this time,” she declared.
“These clubs not only have a valued role in local communities for their contribution to promoting health and wellbeing, since this health emergency began many have rallied to support community resilience efforts. They have been helping with food delivery, volunteering to assist some of our most vulnerable citizens and generally using their influence by motivating and encouraging young people and members to follow the guidance around social distancing and staying at home.
“We want to ensure the long-term future of all our sporting organisations at this difficult time, so I would ask all clubs to please find out if they are eligible for this aid.”
The grants are open to sports clubs and sporting organisations from the voluntary and community sector, which are unable to receive support from other Government Covid-19 Mitigation Funds.
The organisations eligible include Governing Bodies of Sport, local sports clubs forced to close at short notice but who are facing ongoing costs around rent or lease costs, sports facility maintenance and utility bills; community and voluntary sector organisations and charities who deliver or enable sport and/or physical recreation.
For more information about the Hardship Fund please visit http://www.sportni.net/funding/our-funding-programmes/sports-hardship-fund