Bishop’s Stortford Town Council has announced the availability of up to £250,000 (in total) in grants to sports clubs and other sports bodies in the town. The grants will be awarded to fund capital projects which have been fully costed and can be completed no later than 31st December 2023. Applicants must demonstrate that there is a need for the investment requested, that it will directly benefit the residents of the town, and must to show how the project contributes to sustainability. In addition to applications for the funds now available, the Council is also inviting ‘expressions of interest’ from sporting bodies which have ideas that are insufficiently mature to qualify for the present round of funding. These ‘expressions of interest’ may be eligible for future funding and will contribute to the Council’s thinking on the development of sporting facilities.
The grants and request for expressions of interest form a component of the Town Council’s strategic plan 2019-2023. This plan includes investments in its cemeteries, allotments, recreation areas, the riverside and town centre, cycle infrastructure, sport and the arts. Over £1M has been allocated already from a variety of sources including the ‘New Homes bonus’ and ‘S106’, both of which are funds becoming available as a consequence of development and the Council will receive, during the period up to April 2026, a further £6.5M from the sale of the land now occupied by the Avanti Meadows Primary School. This must be spent on capital projects and it is likely that a proportion will be allocated to sport. The Council is considering investing in a sports centre to the North of the Town and is currently undertaking preliminary studies to establish the feasibility of such a venture. The responses to the grants and ‘expressions of interest’ announced today will also help inform this potential project.
Cllr Keith Warnell, the Town Mayor says ‘the announcement of this tranche of grant funding is a first step by the Town Council in stimulating the next phase development of the Town’s Sports facilities. It complements the activities of East Herts District Council and of course the excellent sports bodies in the town. Its pleasing to be able plough back some of the proceeds of development in this way and we are looking forward to hearing from the sporting bodies with their plans and aspirations.
Application forms both for the grants currently announced and expressions of interest are available at www.bishopsstortfordtc.gov.uk/grants and responses must be received no later than 15th September 2021.