Government confirms £300m recovery package for sport in England amid pandemic

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The Government has announced a new £300million recovery package for sport in England.

As he unveiled his Budget in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said £700million was being made available to art, culture and sporting institutions dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the Treasury on Twitter said there was “£300m to back clubs and governing bodies across a wide range of sports in England”.

Sunak also spoke of the Government’s support for a potential joint bid from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to host football’s 2030 World Cup.

He said in his statement to the Commons: “We’re making available £700million to support our incredible art, culture and sporting institutions as they reopen, backing the UK and Ireland’s joint 2030 World Cup bid, launching a new approach to apprenticeships in the creative industries, and extending our £500m film and TV production restart scheme.”

Sport minister Nigel Huddlestone tweeted that as well as £2.8m put towards the World Cup bid, and £1.2m for the England-hosted Women’s European Championship that is set to take place in 2022, there would be £25m for grassroots football facilities.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said on Twitter that the £300m fund would “help spectator sports such as cricket, tennis and horse racing”.

Asked about funding for cricket within the package, England captain Joe Root said on Wednesday: “If it’s going to benefit the game all the way down that’s fantastic.

“It’s really important we all do everything we can to look after the game from top to bottom.

“It does take money to do that. The fact the game is being looked after is a really positive thing and it’s great to hear that.”

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee chair Julian Knight said: “It is welcome that the Treasury has listened to the case pressed by this committee for additional support for our outstanding arts, creative and sporting sectors that have been hit so hard by the impact of the pandemic.

“However, it is greatly disappointing that the Government appears not to have heard our call to give its backing to cancellation insurance schemes for festivals which would provide a safety net should organisers need to cancel plans and enable more to go ahead with confidence this summer.”

The funding announcement on Wednesday follows a £300m sport ‘winter survival package’ announced by the Government in November last year.

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