GRANTS have been awarded to football clubs across Cumbria as part of a joint funding scheme.

Football in Cumbria has been given a £16,000 boost this week as 32 clubs were awarded grants from The Premier League, The FA and the Government’s Football Foundation.

Club Preparation Fund grants will support clubs in fulfilling Covid-19 safety measures in anticipation for the return of sport.

Seaton FC, Whitehaven AFC, Workington AFC, Maryport Amateurs and Gosforth FC are included in the 311 clubs that will benefit.

Junior teams of the non league clubs have also benefitted.

Cleator Moor Celtic FC has received a £500 grant from the latest round of football funding.

Groundsman Dave Graham said: “It’s a massive help to set the club up for reopening.”

The support comes at an important time for the club as it follows £140,000 in pitch improvements to prevent water-logging. The works were supported by the FA’s Pitch Improvement Project.

Grants awarded to the Cumbrian football clubs will contribute to the installation of hygiene facilities such as hand sanitising stations. Screens will be installed at football sites across Cumbria along with contactless payment systems and signage to advise on social distancing guidelines.

Funds will also facilitate maintenance work on club grounds such as repairing hand basins and hot water provision. Professional inspections may also be necessary due to the prolonged period of closure following the pandemic.

Workington AFC were also awarded the full £500 available from the Club Preparation Fund.

Support is welcome for Reds who are currently on a fundraising drive to provide the club with a safety net following the coronavirus pandemic.

Chairman Les Byers said: "It helps with the costs of work to our ground so that we can admit supporters back into Borough Park."

Play can only take place behind closed doors until after September 1. Byers added that when the new season begins in the Northern Premier League, it will be a busy period for the club.

"The season has already been reduced by four weeks. It could be that we will be playing two games a week.

"If we go on an FA Trophy run, that's means additional matches."

The chairman added that measures to prepare the club for play during the coronavirus will be put to the test during this period.

"We're really excited to get back to football but we're always looking over our shoulder."

However, he believes the club is up to the challenge: "We've got unfinished business."

Reds were at the top of the league when the season was brought to a close.