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Sport England funding available to help storm damaged tennis venues


Storm damaged tennis courts could be back in use sooner than expected thanks to Sport England’s new emergency flood relief fund.

The effects of Storms Ciara and Dennis are still being fully assessed but, in an attempt to rectify the damage as soon as possible, local authorities and community sports organisations are being invited to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to pay for emergency repairs.

Gale force winds and torrential rain left some courts, pavilions and floodlights in a state of disrepair, with Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire among the worst-hit areas by Ciara, before Dennis hit towns on the banks of the River Severn.

The grants, which will come from Sport England’s Community Asset Fund, can be provided in as little as three weeks. Sport England Chief Executive, Tim Hollingsworth, has highlighted where attentions should be focused.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

The grants could typically be used to restore grass pitches, to repair and decontaminate flood or wind-damaged clubhouses, replace damaged electrical systems or dredge blocked drains.

Sport England’s Community Asset Fund was designed to help communities quickly respond to emergencies or unexpected events that stop people from being active. From damaged sports club roofs to areas hit by flood damage, the aim is to provide quick responses to those most badly affected.

Find out more about the Community Asset Fund and how to apply on Sport England’s website. Organisations that need assistance with their application should contact Sport England’s Funding line on 03458 508 508.

Guidance on dealing with both the aftermath of flooding and mitigating damage can be found on Sport England’s sustainability page.

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