The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) is set to benefit from the latest tranche of government funding as part of the UK’s ‘Winter Sport Survival Package’.
Following the announcement that a further £50 million will be distributed to sports clubs and organisations across the country, it was confirmed that the government had offered the sport £21 million in loan support committed to the Levy Board, covering essential race day integrity costs and ensuring related health and safety expenditure are safeguarded.
The fee will allow the Board to continue its programme of support, aiding the industry and its stakeholders, both of which have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
“We are extremely grateful to officials at Sport England, DCMS and the Treasury for their support in agreeing this funding to racing,” noted British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Chief Executive, Julie Harrington.
“We are grateful also to the Horserace Betting Levy Board for agreeing to our proposal and borrowing this money to support the central funding of racing.
“This money will help ensure racing continues behind closed doors despite the absence of spectator revenues.
“This will benefit our racecourses, our participants and their communities, and the vital role racing plays as an employer and contributor to the rural economy.”
Meanwhile, rugby league, speedway and drag racing are among the other sports which will be propped up by the latest round of funding.
Breaking down the sum, professional men’s rugby league clubs will pocket £16.7 million in loans to top up the existing £16 million emergency loan scheme provided by the government in May last year.
Furthermore, Europe’s first permanent drag racing venue, the Santa Pod Raceway, has been boosted by a £843,000 loan support, whilst Speedway clubs have been offered a £300,000 loan of the same nature.
“We promised to stand by and protect our major spectator sports when we had to postpone fans returning,” remarked Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden.
“Through our Sport Survival Package and existing business support schemes, we have helped hundreds of clubs to survive this difficult winter period. As the turnstiles begin to open over the coming weeks, players, staff and fans across the country can now look forward to a full return to action with confidence.”
Finally, 20 non-league clubs across the top two levels of the National League system will receive funding of loans and grants worth £6.8 million, bringing the total provided to clubs in the aforementioned tiers through the previous phase of the Sport Survival Package to £11.5 million.