THE St Ives RDA Group has been awarded £2,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards caring for its four horses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses as of March 23 has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty.

In response, on March 31, Sport England announced a £195m 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 the St Ives Group, based at Aireview Equestrian Centre, to ensure the upkeep and welfare of its horses and take care of vet and farrier fees for the coming months.

Barbara Chuter, the group’s operations manager, said: “This is wonderful news.

“Sport England’s grant will supplement the group’s fund raising efforts and enable our horses to be in tip top condition when we begin operations again.”

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 St Ives (Bingley) RDA to help it through these extremely challenging times.”