Help for Struggling Sports Clubs During Lockdown

team BEDS&LUTON¹ - the Active Partnership for Bedfordshire and Luton which is part of a local mental/physical wellbeing and leisure charity - have been supporting struggling sports clubs during the lockdown to apply for funding. 

Although gymnastics clubs, swimming pools, gyms and other sports clubs are permitted to cautiously open their doors in July, many will still not be able to reopen to their usual capacities due to social distancing – adding more pressure to their finances after months of closure. Debts have been mounting and fixed costs still have to be paid. 

But team BEDS&LUTON has directly supported local groups and organisations to benefit from over £75,000 pounds of funding via grant applications. More support packages will be made available soon from Sport England alongside the existing joint package that are already available with Crowdfunder. Emergency Funding has also been made available locally through the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation. For those looking for additional support, team BEDS&LUTON are ready to help. 

Graham Simpson, Business Manager at team BEDS&LUTON explained, “It’s been a really challenging time for many clubs as they have a lot of financial outlays still such as rental costs for facilities and utility bills. Combine that with a loss of membership, sponsorship and event income, a lot of clubs have had to use their reserves to survive. Clubs now have minimal resources available to them to fund the return to play. We have supported these clubs to find suitable grants including the Community Emergency Fund from Sport England. This delivered immediate funding to those clubs most in need due to the ongoing crisis.”

Quotes from clubs around Bedfordshire

 “The £10,000 funding support we have received from the National Lottery funding through Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund helped to save the job of a staff member who was ineligible for the furlough scheme. The funding also helped to fund core costs.” 

Explains Carl Richardson, C.O.O and Trustee, SALTO Gymnastics Club, Luton,
“We want to thank team BEDS&LUTON for supporting us with the funding process, reviewing the application and encouraging us to apply at the start of lockdown.”

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“The £4000 funding support we have received from the National Lottery funding through Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has helped to fund essential ongoing costs and will enable us to keep going until such time as we can reopen and welcome back all our swimmers.” 

Explains Jayne Ward from Modernian Swimming Club in Bedford. “We want to thank team BEDS&LUTON for supporting us throughout the funding process, without their help it would have proved very difficult for us to fundraise this sort of money for the benefit of our club.”  

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“The £4,700 funding support we have received from the National Lottery funding through Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund will support the maintenance and fixed costs in relation to the upkeep of our club building and the bowls green. We would have had a lot of social and fundraising events at our club to help with the upkeep but during the lockdown, this was impossible to do.” 

Explains Margaret Malloch from Potton Bowls club, “We want to thank team BEDS&LUTON for supporting us throughout the funding process, without their help we would have struggled to find the funds to sustain us through this difficult time.”

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Clare Fitzboydon Director of team BEDS&LUTON explains, “We are part of a network of 43 Active Partnerships across the country who are all supporting clubs and organisations at this difficult time. We want Bedfordshire clubs not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future once they reopen. We know that this will be an expensive time for clubs having to pay for additional outlays to ‘reset’ their sport following lockdown and if you need any additional help and support please do get in touch with us.”

Sports clubs can contact team BEDS&LUTON or take a look at the following websites below for additional help:


¹ team BEDS&LUTON is the Active Partnership for Bedfordshire and their mission is to work in partnership to support, develop and promote safe, high quality and inclusive opportunities for people to participate in sport and physical activity for life. They also run Sport England projects locally such as The Summer School Games and Satellite Clubs.


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