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COVID LOANS OFFERED TO ENGLISH CLUBS

English clubs have been offered £300,000 in loan support by the UK Government and Sport England to help them bounce back from the pandemic.

29 / 03 / 2021, 17:04

English clubs have been offered £300,000 in loan support by the UK Government and Sport England to help them bounce back from the pandemic.

The British league season was cancelled in 2020 after clubs were unable to open stadiums to spectators. But it is hoped the SGB Premiership, Championship and National Leagues will resume from May 17, when the UK Government is set to allow smaller stadiums to host fans up to 50 percent of their capacity.

Government and Sport England have been very supportive of the needs of British Speedway clubs and the effect the pandemic has had on them.

Rob Godfrey

Clubs still incurred various fixed costs last season and in setting up for the 2021 campaign, and it is hoped the loans will help them to restart racing.

According to Sport England, loans incur a two percent interest charge. Clubs will be a handed 10 years to repay the cash – a two-year payment holiday and an eight-year repayment period. Alternatively, there’s also a 20-year option, with a four-year payment holiday and a 16-year repayment period.

SGB Championship teams Glasgow and Edinburgh would have to seek any funding they require from the Scottish government and are not eligible for this scheme, which applies to English sides only. It is understood they have already received grants.

It is unclear how many promoters will apply for the loans, with some clubs in other sports calling for grants instead, which do not have to be repaid. But Sport England only issues these in exceptional circumstances.

Rob Godfrey, chairman of British Speedway Promoters Ltd, said: “Government and Sport England have been very supportive of the needs of British Speedway clubs and the effect the pandemic has had on them.

“Taking the time to understand our sport, they have worked closely with a number of speedway clubs to understand their needs, and ultimately provided this crucial funding to help them make it to the starting tapes in May.

“We hope this is the start of support for speedway with our most vulnerable clubs accessing early funding support.”

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