UK govt to provide sports with further 50 million pounds in support package

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Cheltenham Festival

(Reuters) - The UK government said it is providing a further 50 million pounds ($69 million) in support grants for sports in the latest tranche of its winter survival package to help deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government said in a statement on Monday that horse racing, rugby league, speedway and drag racing would receive a combined 40 million pounds, while National League soccer clubs across Steps 1-6 will get 10 million pounds.

The grants will help cover essential costs due to the lack of spectators at venues because of the pandemic.

"We promised to stand by and protect our major spectator sports when we had to postpone fans returning," said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

"As the turnstiles begin to open over the coming weeks, players, staff and fans across the country can now look forward to a full return to action with confidence."

Horse racing will receive 21 million pounds in loan support, while men's professional Rugby League will get a further 16.7 million pounds in addition to the 16 million pounds emergency loan scheme provided in May last year.

Speedway clubs have been offered 300,000 pounds in loan support, while Santa Pod Raceway will receive 843,000 pounds.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)