Community sports facilities to benefit from £300,000 grant scheme

Community sports facilities across East Cambridgeshire are to be encouraged to apply for a share of a £300,000 grant.

East Cambridgeshire District Council has made the money available as part of its Community Sports Facility Grants Scheme 2022-2025.

The fund has been created to enable leisure providers to make sustainable improvements to the facilities they offer residents.

Grants could be used to help pay for capital projects, such as recladding or refurbishing sports halls, or for adding new sports or IT equipment.

The money can also be spent on improving services in order to increase the number of people using each sports centre.

There are nine community sports facilities across East Cambridgeshire at Ely, Soham (pictured), Bottisham, Burwell, Littleport, Witchford and Stetchworth. Many of these are relatively old and have long-standing issues that require larger investment.

Councillor Julia Huffer, Chair of the Operational Services Committee which approved the details of the scheme at its meeting on 21 March 2022, said: “At East Cambridgeshire District Council we’re committed to improving sports and leisure facilities for our local communities.

“Leaving aside The Hive at Ely, these centres are self-financing, with user charges generally covering their normal operating costs. But this leaves no significant reserves or funds for reinvestment in their facilities or services.

“Previously the district council invested £32,000 a year in sports centres in the form of leisure grants, which effectively helped them complete smaller, one-off projects.

“This new £300,000 pot, which replaces the Leisure Grants, will enable not-for-profit sports facilities to make significant improvements to their business, which in turn will attract more people to each sports centre. It’s a win, win situation.”

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