NON-LEAGUE football clubs at steps three to six of the National League System will share in a government grant of up to £10million to help keep them afloat through the coronavirus pandemic.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston announced that the grant, covering the Northern Premier League, Southern Premier and Isthmian Leagues and those below, will "protect the immediate future of approximately 850 clubs".

Many of our clubs in the Bradford District will be in line to receive a slice of that grant, with Brighouse eligible for up to £15,000 in step four.

Sides at step five, like Thackley, Eccleshill and Silsden, could pocket up to £10,500, while step six outfits like Campion and Steeton would be in line for as much as £7,500 each.

The money must be used by the clubs no later than March 31, and applications for a share of the grant can be sent in from today.

It comes one week after the announcement that clubs at the top end of the National League structure, like Bradford (Park Avenue) and Guiseley, would only be eligible for low-interest loans, drawing criticism from a number of clubs.

However, Huddleston clarified that any National League club that can demonstrate they are in dire need may be rewarded with a grant on a case-by-case basis, insisting: "We will not let clubs go to the wall."

In a statement jointly issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England, Huddleston said: "We promised to support sports and target help to where it's most needed.

"We continue to deliver on that with further support for National League football clubs.

"The National League has already benefited from the government support schemes through a £10million government-brokered cash partnership with the National Lottery, and there will be more support for the bigger clubs on the way.

"This £10million 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."

The season at step three and below is currently suspended until at least March 6, with clubs from step three to six having now sent in their responses to an FA survey, giving their opinions on what to do with the rest of the campaign.

But the season at steps one and two is continuing, despite concerns expressed by some clubs that loans will not be enough to see them through the remainder of the campaign and beyond.

Those concerns have led to a temporary two-week suspension of both the National League North and South.

Huddleston added: "With precious public money, we are providing financial support to the National League steps one and two in the form of loans.

"However if clubs at those levels can demonstrate it needs grant funding urgently to survive, we will ensure that option is available.

"We will not let clubs go to the wall. Applications will be assessed by the independent board, through the same rigorous process that we apply to other sports."

Labour leader Keir Starmer is due to hold a meeting this morning via Zoom with representatives of some National League clubs and supporters groups.

The meeting will discuss how the government can make the best decisions to support the National League.