Storm Ciara: Sport England offer to fund repairs

Organisations can apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to cover, or put towards, the costs of any repairs

Last Updated: 11/02/20 3:37pm

Storm Ciara saw extensive damage to Northern Premier League South East Division side Wisbech Town's stadium
Storm Ciara saw extensive damage to Northern Premier League South East Division side Wisbech Town’s stadium

Sports facilities damaged by Storm Ciara can apply for Sport England funding to carry out repairs.

Areas of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire have been hardest hit by the storm, with flooding and gale-force winds leaving grassroots sports facilities counting the cost.

Northern Premier League South East Division side Wisbech Town were one of the clubs badly affected, seeing their goalposts and a stand damaged by the storm.

The club have since said they will struggle to fund repairs for the stand, which could cost up to £20,000, but hope it can be covered by insurance.

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Wisbech Town boss Brett Whaley discusses the extensive damage Storm Ciara did to the Northern Premier League South East Division side’s ground
Wisbech Town boss Brett Whaley discusses the extensive damage Storm Ciara did to the Northern Premier League South East Division side’s ground

On the damage, Wisbech Town manager, Brett Whaley, told Sky Sports News: “Luckily no one was around the ground but the damage is quite extensive.

“To get that stand down and replaced is not a short-term fix and will take a lot of hard work from volunteers and people around the club to do it.”

Organisations can apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to cover, or put towards, the costs of any repairs, Sport England has said.

The organisation’s chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, said: “When flooding happens, the priority must be making sure people are safe, they can get back into their homes and vital public services are back up and running.

“But we know from the floods in 2013 and 2015 that flood water can cause significant damage to sports pitches and pavilions, changing and social facilities.

“We’re making emergency funding available now so when the time is right sports organisations can pay for rebuilds and repairs quickly.

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Storm Ciara wreaked havoc for sport at the weekend, with Scotland and England’s Women’s Six Nations game postponed until Monday
Storm Ciara wreaked havoc for sport at the weekend, with Scotland and England’s Women’s Six Nations game postponed until Monday

“We want to ensure that the sports facilities in local communities that help keep people physically active are not forgotten in the floods so they are ready to use as soon as people want them.”

Nigel Harrison, chief executive at Yorkshire Sport, said: “Yorkshire Sport Foundation is working with local authorities, national governing bodies of sport and other partner organisations in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire to compile details of the facilities affected by the floods.

“The impact is far reaching and covers large parts of the area. We welcome Sport England’s early intervention, and we look forward to working with them to help get the affected clubs and facilities up and running again as soon as possible.”

Source : Sky Sports