SPORTS clubs and groups in an East Lancashire borough are being urged to bid for government cash to help them recover from the impact of coronavirus.

Ribble Valley Council's community boss Cllr Ricky Newmark wants them to submit applications for Sport England’s £16.5million Return to Play Fund.

Aimed at groups, clubs and organisations hit by Covid-19 restrictions and focussing on inequalities that have worsened over the last six months it has three strands.

They are: The Return to Play Small Grants Scheme which offers between £300 and £10,000 to help groups operate in a Covid-safe way; The Return to Play Community Asset Fund providing grants from £10,001 to £50,000 to help organisations adapt their premises; and The Return to Play Active Together Scheme will help organisations set up their own campaigns to cover loss of income by matching crowdfunding of up to £10,000.

Cllr Newmark, chairman of Ribble Valley Council’s community services committee, said: “The disruption experienced by the sport and leisure sector over the past few months has been unprecedented at a time when keeping active and healthy has never been more important.

“With ever-changing coronavirus restrictions, grassroots organisations urgently need support to help them put measures in place to get people active in a Covid-safe way over the coming months."