November 10 – The English Football League and its naming rights partner Sky Bet have unveiled plans to inject £6 million in funding into an array of community projects throughout England and Wales through the newly introduced Building Foundations Fund.
Starting from the upcoming 2023/24 season, Sky Bet is reportedly committing an annual investment of £1 million to the Fund.
Industry experts, featuring Sky Bet ambassador Jeff Stelling, will be entrusted with the task of evaluating and selecting winning bids from various categories. These categories include initiatives aimed at enhancing local sporting facilities and promoting the physical and social benefits of the game.
To mark the start of the Building Foundations Fund, Club Community Organisations at each of the 72 EFL Clubs will have the opportunity to spend an initial £10,000 grant.
Blackburn Rovers have revealed plans to use the initial £10,000 to grow its ‘Remember the Rovers’ programme which holds weekly sessions at Ewood Park, bringing people living with dementia together, who may otherwise be in social isolation, through the power of footballing memories.
Rick Parry, EFL Chair, said: “Unrestricted funding for community activity on this scale is hard to find and presents an exciting opportunity for EFL clubs to further enhance the impact in the areas they are located.
“We are extremely grateful to Sky Bet for its ongoing support to the professional game in this country and this new investment via the Building Foundations Fund will create a long-lasting legacy for the EFL and Sky Bet partnership.”
Earlier this year, the EFL and Sky Bet extended their partnership until the end of the 2028/29 season, establishing a commitment to a community fund in the process. The partnership, initiated in 2013, is one of the longest and most impactful in professional sports, aiming to promote safer gambling and achieve shared objectives in a socially responsible manner.
Dan Colton, Managing Director, Sky Bet added: “We’re incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with the EFL – it’s a relationship that has gone from strength to the strength over the past decade and we wanted to raise the bar further still with the Building Foundations Fund.
“The Fund is a core pillar of our new agreement with the EFL and we’re very excited to see the impact the £6 million will have on such important projects across England and Wales.”
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at email@example.com