The British Basketball League and WBBL will get their bail out from the Treasury.

The £2.5 million will come from the government’s £300 million Sports Winter Survival Package, designed to help those spectator sports severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions survive the winter.

It is understood the cash, originally said to be £3m when first announced last November, will go to the English-based teams in each league although officials were not able to provide specific amounts with some clubs understood to be still finalising their allocation, which will be made up of grants and loans.

Additionally, Basketball England will receive a £200,000 grant.

The package allowed the BBL and WBBL to begin the 2020-21 season but Sport England has been criticised for delayed in distributing the full sums despite making some emergency funding available.

“We were very pleased with the outcome from our negotiations, which will go a very long way to sustaining the top flight of our great game, and to sustaining our associated community programmes,” BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker said.

“We know the Government recognises the impact of basketball, and the work of many BBL and WBBL Clubs, through their Foundations and Community Interest Companies, goes well beyond sport. These activities by our Clubs go to the heart of the challenges faced by our young people in our disadvantaged communities, including related to physical activity, healthy eating, education related, social cohesion and mental health.

“This support will be very important in sustaining these programmes when the Covid pandemic is behind us. The BBL would also like to thank the hard work by various DCMS and Sport England staff, who we know worked tirelessly to get to a position that the funding provided could be properly justified.”

The BBL is presently in talks over a £7.3 million investment from American equity firm 777 Partners, although it is understood it would not inject significant sums into any individual BBL club.

When contacted by MVP, the league could not confirm what percentage of the monies made available would go to the Women’s British Basketball League.

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added: “We are committed to helping our treasured sports through these challenging times. And today’s announcement is more evidence of our support for them.

“This targeted funding will enable sports to keep playing and inspire many more stars of the future.”

Image: Flyers/JMP


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