Council at last puts money where mouth is and invests in sport

Football pitches

Clennon Valley, Paignton - Credit: Submitted

Sport is back on the agenda in Torbay.

For far too long it has been the Cinderella of funding with little or no investment in local clubs or playing facilities.

But now the new partnership at the helm of Torbay Council has recognised the importance of sport not only from a playing point of view but also when it comes to physical activity, tackling health issues and improving general health and wellbeing, including mental health.

New and improved partnerships have been forged with key partners, including governing bodies, Torquay United and a rejuvenated Sport Torbay.

And now the Town Hall is finally putting money where its mouth is with funding.

A ‘Torbay on the Move’ strategy is being supported by an investment of £150,000.  ‘Back to Sport’ and ‘Believe to Achieve’ grant funding will help local sports clubs to encourage more people to get into sport and support local talented athletes to keep pursuing their sporting goals.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available from the ‘Back to Sport’ fund to help clubs that may be struggling to attract the same number of participants as before the pandemic. Meanwhile, ‘Believe to Achieve’ grants of up to £1,000 will be available to support talented athletes with their costs.

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The ‘Back to Sport’ grant has been divided into two funding streams, one aimed at the delivery of sporting activities and could include financial support to help host an event, activity or to set up a new group. The second could be used for minor facilities alterations, service alterations including volunteer training, facility hire or coaching costs.

‘Believe to Achieve’ grants will be awarded three times per year, with panel reviews taking place in April, August and December.

Cllr Darren Cowell, deputy leader and  cabinet member for finance said: “After years of under investment, we want to show our commitment and support not only to local sports clubs, but to the sporting talent of tomorrow."

Head shot of councillor

Darren Cowell - Credit: Torbay Council

Cllr Mike Morey, cabinet member for culture, said: “Sports clubs have really suffered over the last 12 months, even prior to the pandemic they operated on a shoestring budget and rely heavily on volunteers."

Head shot of councillor

Mike Morey - Credit: Torbay Council

The council are  also talking to clubs about opportunities to invest in changing facilities.

For the Torbay on the Move grants go to: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/leisure-sports-and-community/sports/sports-grants/