Clevedon Town chairman welcomes grant news

Social distancing at Everyone Active Stadium

Supporters observing social distancing measures at Clevedon Town's Everyone Active Stadium - Credit:

Clevedon Town Chairman Brian Rose has welcomed the announcement of grant funding for non-league football by the Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston.

The announcement marks the first round of funding from the Government’s Sports Winter Survival Package which is intended to help spectator sports severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions survive the winter.

It will be distributed by the Football Foundation through the well-established Football Stadia Improvement Fund and money will be made available to up to 850 clubs in steps 3 to 6 of the non-league pyramid, in addition to the support through loans announced in October for National League clubs at steps 1 and 2.

Sam and Jon Hibbs work on the Clevedon Town pitch

Sam and Jon Hibbs continue to work on pitch maintenance at the Everyone Active Stadium - Credit:

And Rose said: "It’s timely recognition that clubs at our level have ongoing costs and have to continue to maintain the ground and the pitch but with no income coming in.

"W,e have taken the opportunity to submit an application for a share of the £10 million grant funding announced by Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston last week for non-league football.

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"I'm relieved the Government has listened to the football community at our level and made the money available as grants rather than loans."

There are strict conditions attached as the funding offered is to respond to each club's financial need to survive the coming months, but will not replace all lost revenue or profits over the last 12 months.

Covid secure measures at Everyone Active Stadium

Special measures have been taken to make the Everyone Active Stadium Covid secure - Credit:

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Clubs also have to show they hold less than six months of unrestricted operating reserves to be eligible for the fund with the objective being to ensure football clubs survive the winter period and minimise the long-term damage to future participation.

The fund can be used to support most essential business and operational costs, but not all lost revenue. The amount of funding applied for will be specific to each club's unique circumstances and will be based on financial need and will be means tested.

The grants apply strict limits for each step and clubs in the Toolstation Western League will be able to apply for up to £10,000 at step 5 and £7,500 at step 6, which can be used for things like lease or mortgage payments, debt or loan repayments, utility costs, insurance, essential pitch and stadium maintenance, COVID-19 compliance measures and other financial commitments that have already been made like catering.

Covid secure measures at Everyone Active Stadium

Special measures have been taken to make the Everyone Active Stadium Covid secure - Credit:

Applications need to be in before February 14 and used by March 31, with evidence of how the funds have been spent provided by May 30.

Rose added: "Whilst we have been careful and prudent on what we have spent, this welcome help will ensure we can continue to keep our excellent playing surface up to scratch and supplement and improve the successful Covid-19 measures we originally put in place, so we are ready when football at our level can eventually begin again."

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