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Flooded sporting clubs are thrown a Lottery lifeline

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 01, 2014

WATER WOE: Gary Teague, chairman of Gloucester All Blues RFC, surveys the water in the Oxleaze club's car park.

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SPORTS clubs in Gloucestershire could benefit from emergency funding to help repair flood-damaged pitches.

Sport England has put up a £5million flood relief fund from the National Lottery to help restore pitches and repair sports facilities damaged by the recent storms.

Among those affected, Gloucester-based All Blues RFC has already made an application for £2,000 after its pitch and clubhouse were affected by the recent flooding.

Club chairman Gary Teague said: "We were informed earlier this week that funding would become available so we made sure to get our application in.

"The clubhouse and the changing facilities all need washing out and, although it is now playable, our pitch requires some attention.

"It is fantastic what Sport England is doing for clubs like ours."

The new £5million National Lottery fund has been created specifically to help with the damage caused by the exceptional weather and is in addition to Sport England's other grant programmes.

Jennie Price, chief executive of Sport England, said: "The storms and floods have devastated many sports facilities across England.

"We want to play our part in helping communities get back to normal, and we will consult both locally and with the affected sports about the best way to achieve that."

Those needing funding to clean up and get up and running quickly can request up to £2,000 of emergency funding which could be awarded within three weeks.

Those with more extensive damage will be invited to apply to the fund when it opens on March 24.

John Stevens, chief executive of Active Gloucestershire said: "This is very welcome news. Many communities in Gloucestershire have suffered from flooding damage, particularly pitch sports and, ironically, water sports clubs sited adjacent to rivers.

"Any clubs requiring further information should go to the Sport England website and we are also available to provide local advice and support if required."

The fund will remain open until autumn to ensure that those who are currently unable to assess the damage will not lose out.

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