UK to give $A545m to aid COVID-hit sports

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The UK government is to put together a combined Stg300million cash package to help 11 sports hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced.

And in potential good news for live sport-starved British fans, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said there is "definitely a chance" of spectators being back in venues ahead of Christmas,

Major spectator sports have suffered as a result of the continued absence of fans from venues and after pledging its support, the Government has now outlined the scope of the backing it will provide.

The support will largely be in the form of loans, DCMS said.

Rugby union will receive the biggest single amount - Stg135 million ($A245 million).

Horse racing will receive Stg40million ($A73 million) to support racecourses unable to welcome visitors.

Football's National League, outside the professional game, will receive Stg11m ($A20 m) to cover the period between January and the end of March.

Steps three to six of the pyramid will receive Stg14m ($A25 m), while the Women's Super League and Championship have been awarded Stg3m ($A5.5 m).

The Rugby Football League will benefit to the tune of a further Stg12m ($A22 m), while owners and operators of major motorsports circuits will receive a combined Stg6m ($A11 m).

The Lawn Tennis Association will get Stg Stg5m ($A9.1 m) and England Netball Stg2m ($A3.6 m).

Basketball, ice hockey, badminton and greyhound racing's losses have been covered to the tune of a combined Stg11m ($A20 m).