A golf club threatened by the financial impacts of coronavirus was granted a “lifeline” by Sport England.

Epping Golf Club’s manager Ellie Sjoberg says the club is now in “a strong position” thanks to a share of £650,000 Sport England funding (secured by Active Essex) for grassroots community sport clubs.

Ms Sjoberg said: “The onset of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown could not have come at a worse time for the golf industry having just suffered an extremely long and wet winter and just beginning to look towards the start of a new season.

“Our membership renewals were due on April 1 and we were closed, facing a substantial shortfall in expected renewals, no opening date in sight, and continuing maintenance costs over the 90-acre site.

“The Community Emergency Fund has been a lifeline during a time of great uncertainty and Epping Golf Club is now in a strong position to continue to bring the numerous benefits of golf to all, at a time when the nation needs it most.”

The funding helped over 180 grassroots sports clubs and organisations across the county.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council cabinet member for education and skills, said: “Active Essex has worked at terrific pace in partnership with Sport England to ensure our grassroots sports infrastructure is not lost forever because of the cash problems brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Ann Pauline, from Harlow’s Griffin Bowls Club, also a beneficiary of the funding, said the funding saved the club from the “serious possibility of folding.”

She added: “I am sure the knowledge that the club will survive has encouraged more members to pay their membership fees than would have done. The award from Sport England has no doubt saved our club and is very much appreciated.”

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