More than £2 million in fresh funding is being handed out to Non-League clubs from today after football came together to open the new Club Preparation Fund.
After investing £7 million in the country’s football pitches during the coronavirus lockdown, the Premier League, The Football Association and the government, through Sport England, are making a further £2.19 million available via the Football Foundation to help clubs start playing again.
Open for applications until July 19, the new Club Preparation Fund will help clubs and community organisations prepare their buildings to safely reopen in line with government guidance around hygiene and social distancing.
More than 4,000 clubs and organisations across the country are set to benefit from grants of £500. As well as clubs in the FA National League System, Welsh Cymru Premier League clubs and those in The FA Women’s Pyramid with their own grounds are also eligible to apply for funding.
Following the £7m investment into preparing the country’s pitches, the @premierleague, The @FA and @DCMS through @sport_england are providing a further £2.19m to help clubs get their buildings ready for football’s return.
The Club Preparation Fund is here! ?#ClubPreparation
— Football Foundation (@FootballFoundtn) June 29, 2020
CPF grants to satisfy extra hygiene measures required are available for upgrades including:
The Club Preparation Fund follows the £7 million Pitch Preparation Fund, which is benefiting 9,588 pitches and is a continuation of football and government support for clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FA recently released guidance to help providers of outdoor football facilities achieve the government’s guidelines. Providers will need to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, then adapt their facilities via three key ‘controls’: promoting good hygiene; keeping facilities and equipment clean; and maintaining social distancing and avoiding congestion.
Football Foundation’s interim chief executive Robert Sullivan said: “We had a great response to the recent Pitch Preparation Fund, with clubs welcoming our emergency support to get nearly 10,000 playing surfaces across the country match-fit.
“The Club Preparation Fund is a continuation of the support to assist the return of football by helping clubs prepare their buildings for the COVID-19 environment. Any organisations that need help should apply via footballfoundation.org.uk before the deadline of 19 July.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “It is important that clubs are provided with the support they need to prepare for football’s return. Along with the other funding partners,we were pleased to see thousands of clubs at different levels quickly benefit from the Pitch Preparation Fund.
“This further contribution is being made available to support more vital work and ensure premises are safe, in line with the latest Government guidelines.”
The FA’s chief executive officer Mark Bullingham said: “We are committed to getting all levels of football playing as soon as the Government decides that it is safe to do so. This fund will be critical to helping clubs prepare facilities and carry out essential maintenance work. We want them to be ready to welcome players back, which hopefully will be very soon.”
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston added: “We know grassroots football clubs can’t wait to get back to the competitive game and we’re working hard to make sure they can do so safely as soon as public health guidance allows.
“This extra funding will help clubs to prepare and make sure they can put all-important safety measures in place to protect their players and staff for when they get back on the pitch.”
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