Boost for angling society after coronavirus ‘uncertainty’
PUBLISHED: 10:22 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:22 18 June 2020
A popular club that offers a wide range of fishing in north east Suffolk, has received a boost during the continuing coronavirus crisis.
Southwold and District Freshwater Angling Preservation Society has been awarded £6,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards payment of rents and essential maintenance during the ongoing pandemic.
With the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty throughout the lockdown, on March 31 Sport England announced a £195m package to help clubs.
Within this is a £20m Community Emergency Fund of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding.
This grant will now allow the society to pay all rents for their waters, which were due on June 1, as well as allowing them to carry out essential maintenance to platforms, banks and fencing at the societies Reydon complex.
The grant will also cover the loss of day ticket income and the cost of coronavirus measures introduced during the eligible period of March 1 to July 31.
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Society chairman, Barry Reid, said: “The opportunity to seek a grant was brought to the society’s attention by the Angling Trust.
“Obviously, we were delighted to have our bid for support accepted at what was a very worrying period for the society as the lockdown came at a time that traditionally sees the highest level of income, along with the highest level of expenditure, in the society year.
“Understandably the lockdown resulted in a great deal of uncertainty for the society and its members.
“As well as being the time that most administration costs are incurred, and society rents need to be paid, it is also the period when essential maintenance is carried out to ensure the health and safety of anglers using the lakes, and fences are repaired to prevent predation.”
Planned new initiatives, such as offering free memberships to junior anglers to encourage them into the sport were put in jeopardy, but the Sport England Community Emergency Funding gave the committee the confidence to continue to push this forward.
Mr Reid added: “Consequently, we have already seen a 300 per cent increase in the number of junior members.
“The support received couldn’t have come at a better time and has enabled us to continue to offer the opportunity for participation in the sport of angling which brings with it considerable health benefits, especially in these times of lockdown and social distancing.”
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