Skip to content

More than 100 clubs helped by emergency storm relief fund

As sports facilities and organisations assess the damage from the recent storms, our fund is already helping many.

24th February 2020

More than 100 sports clubs and organisations have received grants from our emergency storm relief fund in just a week.

Set up to help those affected by Storms Ciara and Dennis, the fund has seen grants from hundreds of pounds to £5,000 awarded to clubs and organisations across the country.

Many are still unable to safely access their facilities in places like the Wye and Severn Valleys, but our fund – which awards National Lottery grants through our Community Asset Fund application portal – remains open, with a quick decision process and access to cash for places in need.

Two men survey the scene of a flooded sports pitch and pavilion

Carlisle Cricket Club is one organisation to have successfully applied to the fund, with secretary Mark Davidson grateful for the support.

“We’re delighted to receive emergency flood relief funding,” he said. “Our clubhouse, netting areas, outfield and kit rooms were savaged by the recent storms.

“It's vital for clubs like Carlisle to access funding quickly to enable us to get back on our feet at the earliest opportunity and enable the community and membership to once again access our excellent facilities in the heart of the city."

1 in 3

The Environment Agency considers 1 in 3 facilities in a number of sports to be at risk of flooding - compared to 1 in 6 for regular properties

Playing fields and clubhouses are particularly vulnerable to flooding in England, because many of them are located on flood plains as a result of the cheaper, flatter land.

Our funding is often used for decontamination, skip hire, equipment replacement and access repair, and our executive director of property, Charles Johnston, is glad we can play a part in getting facilities back into a usable state.

"Floods can have a devastating impact on local sports organisations, causing damage to clubhouses and grounds and denying communities a chance to play sport, often for weeks and months on end,” he said.

“We've developed guidance on how clubs can take action to protect themselves from extreme weather conditions, which includes drought as well as flooding, and our flood relief fund is available to help clubs deal with the immediate impact.

“In the longer term we will work with communities, as we have with Carlisle since they were devastated by the floods of recent years, to make their facilities more resilient to the effects of climate change.”

It's vital for clubs like Carlisle to access funding quickly to enable us to get back on our feet at the earliest opportunity

Mark Davidson

Secretary at Carlisle Cricket Club

And with the recent violent storms resulting in record water levels in some areas, Dr Iain James, a specialist in sports flood recovery and design at TGMS Sports Surface Consultants, said more needs to be done to cope with extreme weather.

"I have worked with many flooded clubs since 2007 and I see the devastation to sports clubs and their members, many of whom are volunteers,” he said. “To those clubs affected I would reassure them that there is support there and with the right advice, decision making and funding it is possible to recover and to build resilience to flooding in the future.

“All clubs need to be better prepared. I would encourage all those involved in managing a sports club to assess their flood risk and use the flood planning tools made available through Sport England and the sports governing bodies.

Organisations that need assistance with their application should contact our Funding line using the details below.

While guidance on dealing with both the aftermath of flooding and mitigating damage can be found on our sustainability page.

For organisations where football is the main activity, applications for funding can be made through the Football Foundation (the charity of the Premier League, The FA and Government, through Sport England).

Any football clubs affected should first contact their local county Football Association to find out how to access this funding.

Community, voluntary and social enterprises can request up to £5,000 of emergency funding through our online application form, which could be awarded in just a few weeks.

Apply now

Sign up to our newsletter

You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.