Published: 06:00, 22 August 2020
More than £1 million has been invested into Kent football clubs since lockdown.
Two-hundred-and-fifty-seven clubs in the county have received a share of £1,069,620.
The funding has been awarded by Football Foundation and Sport England over the last five months to support sports facilities and pitches to safely return to competitive match play.
With the suspension of footballing activity in March, as well as the early termination of the 2019/20 season, grassroots clubs faced a significant loss in income.
This funding will help 257 clubs in Kent improve their pitches and facilities, obtain new equipment such as goalposts and storage containers, and purchase PPE and sanitiser to satisfy the extra hygiene measurements that requires.
Lee Suter, football development manager at Kent FA, said: “We really welcome this positive news following a difficult few months for the footballing community in Kent.
"Reaching £1 million of funding in the county since lockdown showcases the value of grassroots football clubs within local communities and the positive role which sport & physical activity will play in the aftermath of COVID-19”
To further support the grassroots game, Kent FA also announced free affiliation, free county cup entries and free public liability insurance for all clubs for the 2020/21 season and the Kent FA Charitable Foundation funded a free first aid kit for every team – an investment to the value of £365,000.
Darryl Haden, Kent FA chief executive, said: “We are proud of the way in which many football clubs in Kent adapted to the unique and complex challenges of Covid-19.
"It was important to us to work with our partners to ensure that every club was supported to return to football this year. We look forward to kicking-off the most eagerly awaited season in history”
The 2020/21 season is expected to start in September.