Thurrock sports clubs urged to apply for national ‘Inspired Facilities’ fund

ACTIVE Essex, the sport and physical activity partnership for Greater Essex, is urging local sports clubs to apply for funding to make improvements to their facilities as the next round of National Lottery sports funding opens.

Sport England’s ‘Inspired Facilities’ programme, an £83 million scheme with a commitment to fund up to 1000 community sports projects between 2011 and 2014, has already provided a much needed financial boost to more than 25 major projects in the county.

Out of 321 successful bidders in the last round three local Essex clubs received £50,000 of funding each, helping them to develop memberships and get hundreds more people enjoying sport.

Gary Sullivan, Chairman of Active Essex, is backing the initiative, he said: “Active Essex is working hard to help support local clubs in gaining funding for their facilities. We all recognise that times are hard and this opportunity for funding is not to be missed. I encourage more clubs to contact us and find out how we can support them in improving their facilities and in turn gain more members.”

Essex County Councillor Ann Naylor, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, commented: “Ensuring our local sports facilities have the resources to maintain as well as improve their facilities for our local residents is vital in keeping people physically active and engaged in sport. Having these facilities available and the money to develop them will keep clubs open and increase interest and membership.”

The programme funds improvements in five typical areas of need, from building modernisation, outdoor lighting, outdoor surfaces, community club buildings, through to sports equipment.

In the last round Burnham on Crouch Sailing Club applied for funding for the upgrade of their sailing-for-all facilities and Southend Athletics Club was successful in its bid for investment in their trackside clubhouse at their Garon Park home. Finally Mersea Island Rugby Football Club applied for funding for a changing room block for Island Rugby Club.

Bids are now being accepted for Inspired Facilities funding until 16 December 2013.

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