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£6.5 million of Scottish Rugby funding made available for local clubs hit by Covid-19 lockdown to return to action and foster schools and youth participation

By Craig Christie

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Scottish Rugby has confirmed an unprecedented funding package of £6.5million to support community clubs in Scotland as the sport emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

North rugby could benefit from a share of £6.5 million national funding.
North rugby could benefit from a share of £6.5 million national funding.

In the package, £1.5 million is earmarked for immediate club recovery needs and a safe, sustainable return to rugby programme.

A further £5 million will go towards stimulating growth and participation over the coming five years.

The existing club support payments allocated by Scottish Rugby which amounted to £2.9m in financial year (19/20) will rise to £3m per annum and will be index linked for the next five years.

Essentially, the three “extra” funding streams over and above the Annual £3M are as follows:-

  1. A club recovery fund of £500,000 which is immediately available to grassroots clubs to enable them to avoid immediate hardship and prepare their premises and facilities for the coming season.
  2. Return to rugby funding of £1 million to support club and referee society plans to recruit and retain players, coaches, volunteers, match officials and support staff. Clubs will be invited to apply for ‘kick start’ grants of up to £7,500.
  3. A growth and participation fund of £1 million released in January 2022, with the same sum available thereafter for four years.This will support a comprehensive growth and participation strategy that will look to support plans and programmes from the Union and clubs individually and collectively to create sustainable improvements in player numbers. It will focus on schools and youth rugby with an emphasis on state schools. It will also drive a comprehensive girls and women’s strategy from primary schools through to the international team.

More details of the application process and key areas of award will be published shortly and communicated directly to member clubs.

Any club with an immediate funding issue that requires direct intervention from Scottish Rugby’s Rugby Development department should go directly to their Regional Director.

Scottish Rugby President, Ian Barr said: “This comprehensive funding package has been designed to not only meet the existing needs of clubs as we look to resume after the pandemic, but to also have a lasting impact on growth and participation in the community game in Scotland.

"The Council will be involved in the awards process and welcomes the generous funding from the Scottish Government which has contributed to this raft of support being made possible."

Scottish Rugby Chairman, John Jeffrey added: “This is a massive boost to clubs across the country and we are delighted to be in a position to fund programmes and activities designed to stimulate the game in Scotland following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on club activity and finances.

"We welcome the generous support of the Scottish Government and are committed to distribute any funding in accordance with their guidelines.”

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