The EFL has announced plans to allocate £600,000 in funding to communities throughout England, marking the initial distribution of grants in collaboration with Sky Bet.

As part of the fund, financial assistance will be directed towards initiatives associated with over 60 EFL clubs, including a variety of projects aimed at addressing isolation, enhancing fitness and mental well-being, boosting sports participation and upgrading local football facilities.

This initial distribution is the first set of grants awarded by the Sky Bet EFL Building Foundations Fund, which was launched last year with Sky Bet committing to invest £6m over six years as part of its record title partner extension with the EFL.

Debbie Cook, EFL Director of Community, said: “The funding provided from Sky Bet not only enhances the outstanding work already undertaken by our clubs in the community, but creates a legacy that will last for years to come. 

“This commitment from Sky Bet shines a light on the breadth and depth of the work football is involved in across all of our communities and tells the powerful stories of the local community members who benefit from these initiatives and programmes.”

Since the agreement, each EFL Club Community Organisation (CCOs) was provided access to an initial £10,000 to invest in ongoing programmes or to develop new community initiatives.

Championship club Blackburn Rovers used its £10,000 to support its initiative ‘Remember the Rover’, which aims to provide a social lifeline to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In terms of other clubs, Leeds United has announced it will put more funding into its ‘Social Goals’ programme to tackle isolation among the over 50s and Morecambe will purchase equipment to run health and fitness sessions for local communities.

Dan Colton, Managing Director of Sky Bet, said: “You only have to see the success of the programmes like ‘Remember the Rovers’ in Blackburn to realise the impact the Building Foundations Fund has and will continue to have over the coming years.

“We’re incredibly proud of the Building Foundations Fund and our work with the clubs across the EFL to breathe new life into the community projects they run.”

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