Sky Bet and EFL Launch Transformational ‘Building
Flutter Entertainment’s leading UK sports betting brand Sky Bet, the title partner of the English Football League (EFL), and the EFL are launching the ‘Building Foundations’ Fund to provide £6m of vital funding for community projects across England and Wales.
The ‘Building Foundations’ Fund represents the largest multi-year sponsor-backed fund dedicated solely to community activity and will give the 72 EFL clubs a chance to bid for grants of up to £100,000 to invest in ongoing programmes or to develop new initiatives.
From the current 2023/24 season, Sky Bet will invest £1 million per year into the Fund. A panel of industry experts, including Sky Bet ambassador Jeff Stelling, will agree the winning bids across a range of categories, such as improving local sporting facilities or promoting the physical and social benefits of the game. To mark the start of the ‘Building Foundations’ Fund, Club Community Organisations (CCOs) at each of the 72 EFL Clubs will have the opportunity to spend an initial £10,000 grant.
Dan Colton, Managing Director at Sky Bet, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with the EFL – it’s a relationship that has gone from strength to the strength over the past decade and we wanted to raise the bar further still with the ‘Building Foundations’ Fund. The Fund is a core pillar of our new agreement with the EFL and we’re very excited to see the impact the £6 million will have on such important projects across England and Wales.”
Rick Parry, EFL chair, said: “Unrestricted funding for community activity on this scale is hard to find and presents an exciting opportunity for EFL clubs to further enhance the impact in the areas they are located. We are extremely grateful to Sky Bet for its ongoing support to the professional game in this country and this new investment via the ‘Building Foundations’ Fund will create a long-lasting legacy for the EFL and Sky Bet partnership.”
Jeff Stelling, former Sky Sports Soccer Saturday lead presenter, said: “Everybody knows my love of the English Football League. I also know all too well how lower league clubs and the communities around them struggle for financial support. I’m delighted to play a part in the ‘Building Foundations’ Fund and I truly believe it presents a great opportunity to make a real difference.”
Former Leicester City, Liverpool and England star Emile Heskey joined Sky Bet Managing Director Dan Colton and EFL chair Rick Parry at Barnsley’s 3G pitch to meet participants from its walking football programme, an existing community scheme for over 35’s that will benefit from the 2023/24 funding.
Blackburn Rovers plan to use the initial £10,000 to grow its ‘Remember the Rovers’ programme which holds weekly sessions at Ewood Park, bringing people living with dementia together, who may otherwise be in social isolation, through the power of footballing memories.