THE MAGPIES have been boosted by a grant of almost £10,000 to help fill the financial hole left by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dorchester Town have been awarded £9,985 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards stadium running costs during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses as of March 23 has left the club facing a period of uncertainty.

In response, on March 31 Sport England announced a £195million package to help the sport and physical activity sector through COVID-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.

The grant will allow Dorchester Town Community Football Club to cover ongoing stadium running costs such as gas, electricity, water and insurance whilst it is currently not in use.

David Martin, Dorchester Town Community Football Club Vice Chairman, said: “We are very grateful to Sport England and The National Lottery for providing the Community Emergency Fund.

“It is staggering how much it costs to keep our stadium running even when mothballed. The funding is vital to keep it going so when we come out of the pandemic we can once again provide a safe environment for all those playing on our 3G artificial pitch, including boys, girls, mens, womens, disability and seniors teams.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: “As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

“We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to Dorchester Town Community Football Club to help it through these extremely challenging times.”