A PRESTWICH sports club has become one of the first to receive a coronavirus support grant to help bolster its finances during the ongoing crisis.

Prestwich Cricket, Tennis and Bowling Club has been given a share of a £14.3 million cash pot created to aid Bury businesses.

The club said the grant will "massively help to keep us going through a very difficult period".

Brian Lorenzini, club chairman, added: “With around 600 members including 350 juniors, we’re an important part of the community and enjoy partnerships with several local schools who use our facilities free of charge regularly.

“Our main income streams are membership fees and sponsorship, and our bar, which of course are all currently shut down.

"We applied for a Government grant, as announced by the Chancellor, with the process managed locally by Bury Council.

“Bury provided excellent advice on the protocols and procedures that were required on their website.

"We formally applied on 1 April and our application for support was accepted and the funds arrived by BACS transfer four days later.

“On behalf of my club I want to say thank you to both Bury Council and the Government for their fantastic support."

Following the creation of the grants, Bury Council has made payments of £10,000 and £25,000 to 1,157 businesses across the borough.

The council says it is also keen to hear from firms who have not yet been contacted and could be eligible for financial help.

Councillor Eamonn O'Brien, who represents St Mary's ward and is cabinet member for finance and housing, said: “Prestwich CC is a very important part of the community, and does a fantastic job to promote sport and wellbeing.

“Like all sports clubs, they’ve been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown and the need for social distancing.

"I’m delighted that our staff have been able to process their grant so quickly, which will hopefully give the club some vital relief at this unprecedented time.

“We will do all we can to support local businesses to keep going and retain their staff, so that they can emerge from this crisis in good shape to prosper once more.

"We are working through all the applications, aiming to process payments within two weeks of receiving them.

“Please see the advice on our website, and get in touch with us if you have not already been contacted about the help available.”

For more information on coronavirus business grants visit bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15257

Or for more information on other business support during the pandemic visit burymeansbusiness.bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=13809