UK governing bodies and sports clubs receive millions in EU funding, report reveals
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UK governing bodies and sports clubs receive millions in EU funding, report reveals

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Several UK sports organisations – including national governing bodies and Premier League football clubs – have received millions of pounds worth of grants from the EUropean Union’s Erasmus++ programme.

A report put together by the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) has revealed the extent to which the British sport industry is supported by the EU.

In 2015, 55 organisations received €4.2m (£3.6m, US$4.7m) in decentralised funding for vocational education and training programmes, as well as youth-orientated projects. During that period League Football education was awarded the largest single grant of €535,970 (£460,323, US$597,487).

Other notable awardees included the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Scottish Rugby Union and Premier League football clubs Southampton and Stoke City for various employment and apprenticeship programmes.

British sport organisations also benefitted from a centralised funding pot of €7.8m (£6.7m, US$8.7m) in 2015 when partnering up with other European organisations. Of the 19 projects that received money from the fund, 10 had at least one UK partner.

The London-based Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) won a grant of €465,999 (£400,228, US$519,487) as project coordinator for its training and education portal work. Other UK-based organisations to benefit as partners were the Youth Sport Trust, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Community Voluntary Services for Broxbourne and East Herts.

Whether British organisations can continue to bid from Erasmus+ funding after leaving the European Union remains to be seen, but non-EU countries such as Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey can all take part in Erasmus+ programmes.

“It seems the UK may still be able to benefits from Erasmus+ funding, but the ability to lead projects and full access to the programme could be curtailed by Brexit, depending on negotiations and the designation of the UK in these categories,” said Ben Gittus, director of standards for the EOSE.

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Several UK sports organisations – including national governing bodies and Premier League football clubs – have received millions of pounds worth of grants from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.
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