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Government provides a further £50m in emergency 'Winter Survival Package' for sport

The government has provided a further £50 million in emergency funding for sport, as part of its 'Winter Survival Package', to support the industry through financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government provides a further £50m in emergency 'Winter Survival Package' for sport

The funding will see £40 million distributed between horse racing, rugby league, speedway and drag racing, whilst non-League football clubs from steps one to six will receive a further £10 million.

Horse racing is set to receive £21 million in loans to allow the Levy Board to continue to offer financial support and funding for the industry, which has suffered significantly from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

British Horseracing Authority chief executive Julie Harrington said: "We are extremely grateful to officials at Sport England, DCMS and the Treasury for their support in agreeing this funding to racing.

"We are grateful also to the Horserace Betting Levy Board for agreeing to our proposal and borrowing this money to support the central funding of racing.

"This money will help ensure racing continues behind closed doors despite the absence of spectator revenues.

"This will benefit our racecourses, our participants and their communities, and the vital role racing plays as an employer and contributor to the rural economy."

In football, National League clubs will be given grants and loans worth £6.8 million in steps one and two, whilst clubs in steps three to six have been awarded £3.1 million.

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham said: "Clubs across the NLS system play a pivotal role in the heart of their communities and often support many youth teams. Support for them is crucial at this difficult time, so we welcome the Government's additional funding."

Men's professional rugby league clubs will receive £16.7 million in loans, with a £1.45 million grant available in support for community and women's games.

Motorsports have been offered £1 million in loan support, split between Speedway clubs (£300,000) and Sata Pod Raceway (£843,000).

As part of the announcement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We promised to stand by and protect our major spectator sports when we had to postpone fans returning.

"Through our Sport Survival Package and existing business support schemes, we have helped hundreds of clubs to survive this difficult winter period. As the turnstiles begin to open over the coming weeks, players, staff and fans across the country can now look forward to a full return to action with confidence."

Author: Jake Wilkin