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March, Wisbech and Wisbech St Mary football clubs are now eligible for grant funding

Wisbech Town and the Eastern Counties League duo of March Town and Wisbech St Mary are among the non-league clubs now eligible for funding through grants following a Government

Steps three to six of the National League system – which incorporates the Northern Premier and United Counties leagues – will receive up to £10m to protect the immediate future of approximately 850 clubs over the next few months.

The funding will be provided in the form of grants and clubs will be contacted directly by the Football Foundation with full details about making an application.

The November derby between Wisbech St Mary and March Town was one of the last games played locally.
The November derby between Wisbech St Mary and March Town was one of the last games played locally.

Grants will then be distributed quickly to clubs through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund which is the first award to be announced from the Government’s £300million Sports Winter Survival Package.

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We promised to support sports and target help to where it is most needed. We continue to deliver on that with further support for clubs.

“The £10m grant for lower league clubs in steps three to six will act as a lifeline for around 850 clubs in towns and cities across England and help these clubs through this difficult period until we can get fans back in safely.”

Clubs at Wisbech’s level can apply for grants of up to £15,000 with March and Wisbech St Mary eligible for £7,500.

The deadline for applications is this Sunday, February 14 and teams should find out what they will receive within three weeks of applying.

Wisbech have been on the sidelines since October 24, while Wisbech St Mary last played on December 12 and March on December 19.

Clubs were canvassed recently for their views on what happens next with their seasons and a statement released by the Football Association said that 99.1 per cent of clubs at steps three and four had submitted their views with a 95.8 per cent response from those at steps five and six.

It said: “The FA would like to thanks clubs for submitting their views and the time taken in providing responses at what we appreciate is an incredibly challenging time for everyone.

“The FA’s Alliance and Leagues Committees now have a large amount of data and information to consider before determining a proposed way forward.

“Ultimately any proposal made by the committees will be put to the FA Council for consideration. The FA Council will then make any final decision on a way forward.

“The Alliance and Leagues Committees recognise the desire for clubs to be updated while these issues are being carefully considered.

“Therefore, both committees commit to providing updates to leagues and clubs as the process progresses and remain mindful of the difficulties faced by clubs at present.”

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