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Scottish Rugby announces second phase of its Club Hardship Fund

By David Porter

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Scottish Rugby’s response to the pressure on rugby clubs across the country caused by the Covid-19 pandemic saw the creation of a Club Hardship Fund (CHF).

The Hardship Fund will enable clubs to carry out safety checks prior to reopening.
The Hardship Fund will enable clubs to carry out safety checks prior to reopening.

CHF was designed to help with club running costs between March and July, a period during which no rugby was played, and clubs had no income.

Almost £400,000 was allocated from an initial fund of £500,000 with the remaining money ring-fenced for supporting other projects around the club game.

Phase 2 of the CHF is to assist clubs with the safe reopening of their clubhouses.

The purpose of the fund is to enable clubs to complete the Scottish Rugby and sportscotland recommended safety checks prior to reopening.

If the checks undertaken lead to a recommendation of work requiring to be carried out, the cost of this work will be at the club’s own expense, using a supplier of their choice.

Working with HF Group, a valued supplier of services to Scottish Rugby both at BT Murrayfield and Scotstoun, Scottish Rugby has agreed a package of services that HF can undertake for clubs to help them reach the goal of opening their clubhouses safely.

Clubs will have the opportunity to select from a menu of services or select a seven-service bundle of checks that HF Group can complete for the club, with Scottish Rugby covering costs up to £1000.

Clubs who already have maintenance contracts in place can apply for a grant of up to £1000 and engage their regular supplier to carry out checks.

Any decision on whether to award a grant, and if so, the amount and any terms and conditions attached, will be at the discretion of Scottish Rugby.

Scottish Rugby chief executive, Mark Dodson, said: “We have seen a strong interest in the Club Hardship Fund during its first stage which has made a significant difference to clubs in need of support.

"I am delighted to see the remaining funds being made available to applicant clubs as we announce the second phase of the initiative.

“It’s certainly been a challenging time for everyone associated with the sport across Scotland and indeed globally, and I hope that the clubs will take the opportunity to apply for financial assistance if they need it.

Sheila Begbie, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby Development, added: “We would encourage clubs to apply for the second stage of CHF assistance in order to ensure that they are prepared in the best possible manner for when rugby returns to grounds across the country.

“Our support for member clubs is unwavering at such an unprecedented time and we are committed to working with them throughout what has been such a challenging time across the rugby landscape.”

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