Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport First Special Report


Appendix 5

  PAPER SUBMITTED BY SPORT ENGLAND
  THE FUTURE OF PROFESSIONAL RUGBY

  Sport England's response to Select Committee recommendation iv

Recommendation

  • "We recommend to Sport England that further public investment in facilities and grounds for professional clubs should be subject to two conditions. First, as proposed by Hemel Hempstead RLFC, grants for spectator facilities should be 'linked with a club's proven track record of youth, schools and amateur development in the community'. Second, conditions related to the management and finances of professional clubs should be imposed before grants are given for stadium development" (paragraph 43).

Action

    —  Grant applications from sports clubs already have to meet a number of standard conditions—relating to junior sections, and accessibility to women and people with disabilities.

    —  Grant applications from professional sports clubs have to meet further conditions which ensure that, for example, they result in no private gain, they provide clear value to the local community, and they are ring-fenced for a specific purpose.

    —  Grants for spectator facilities are normally a low priority for the Sport England Lottery Fund, except in cases where they are part of a wider development of sports facilities or are necessary on safety grounds. This is true of all sports, not just professional rugby. In respect of the latter, the Council has recently established the 'Safer Sports Grounds' initiative, which focuses financial support on the three spectator sports of rugby league, rugby union and cricket to improve safety at relevant grounds.

    —  Applications for grants to improve all facilities have long been expected to be part of a broader sports development strategy, aimed at improving the club's performance in a number of areas—such as those suggested by Hemel Hempstead RLFC

and endorsed by the Committee.

August 2000


 
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