Over the past number of months Golf Ireland has been lobbying on behalf of golf clubs with governing bodies, including The R&A, Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland, to examine what support packages can be put in place to assist clubs during this difficult time.
The R&A have committed to a £7 million funding package, which is aimed at national associations and other affiliated bodies in GB&I and details outlining how to apply have been circulated to all clubs.
With the global pandemic leading to widespread temporary course closures and drastic reductions in domestic and international travel, many golf clubs and facilities are facing serious financial difficulties. The fund is being provided to help The R&A’s affiliated national associations to support those clubs and facilities, although some of the money may be used for other activities key to the future health of the sport.
Golf Ireland is responsible for administering a funding package of £555,000, which aims to deliver immediate funding to golf clubs meeting specific criteria to a maximum grant of £9,000 (€10,000).
One key condition of receiving the funding regards to the Women in Golf Charter. Funded clubs must become a Women in Golf Charter signatory within three months of receiving the funding and commit to achieving a number of Bronze, Silver and Gold commitments in the areas of visibility, governance, participation, culture and gender balance within a set timeframe.
Clubs must also demonstrate a clear financial need for the grant as a result of the pandemic and it is expected that the club management committee has already put in place all cost-saving measures and reductions where possible to address the current crisis.
The financial support can be used in various ways, including to support clubs to become more sustainable, reduce costs and become more energy efficient.
Applications are open until September 4, with successful clubs receiving their grants before the end of September.
The government in Ireland has announced a Resilience Fund and Golf Ireland will be seeking funding for golf and for clubs. More information on this can be found HERE.
Additionally, for clubs in the Republic of Ireland, the revised Restart Grant Plus Scheme means support will now be provided for enterprises that could not access the original government grant scheme. Rateable sports businesses’/clubs may be eligible for a minimum grant payment of €4,000 up to a maximum of €25,000. The grant assists with the costs associated with reopening and reemploying workers following COVID-19 closures. Further information HERE.
A large percentage of clubs in Northern Ireland were successful in their application to the NI executive for a one-off payment of £25,000. In addition, eligible clubs can now apply for the Sport NI hardship fund. Further information HERE.