In the midst of the current economic climate, there is good news for the BMC as Sport England has recently approved our funding application for 2009 - 2012.
This means £1,287,850 will be granted to grassroots mountaineering over the next four years, and will allow the BMC to improve support for clubs, competitions, volunteers and mountain training in particular.
Although the total amount gained by mountaineering is not in the same realm as that awarded to sports such as football and cycling, it is a very positive result and represents a 24% increase in the grants currently received by the BMC and Mountain Leader Training. It’s a 61% increase compared to the last time the BMC was awarded a four-year cycle of funding.
Of all the 46 sports awarded grants, the BMC achieved the highest percentage (98%) of the total requested. This goes to show the strength of the BMC’s application and how Sport England sees climbing, hill walking and mountaineering benefiting the health of the nation. It also means that we will be able to fund all of the various initiatives specified in our submission.
So what initiatives are in store for the next four years?
Taking clubs to start with, the award includes £135k to boost the support we can offer BMC affiliated clubs. This includes £45k for instructor support, £32k for club websites and newsletters, £25k towards a BMC Clubs Officer and £23k to buy mountaineering equipment for clubs.
Mountain Leader Training will also get a significant increase in funding. The BMC has helped MLTUK and MLTE to secure a very significant (140%) grant increase. There will be £336k to put towards a whole series of measures to develop the provision of training and enhance coaching expertise.
Next up is competitions. With £238k going towards developing talent support systems, the government is effectively paying the cost of running an improved competitions programme for the next four years. This includes supporting talented climbers, but does not include funding for elite climbers which falls outside Sport England’s remit.
Membership development initiatives include: developing a young person’s membership package; developing online services and a members’ area on the BMC website; developing new media; raising awareness of the BMC’s work and membership; and increasing the profile and public understanding of climbing, hill walking and mountaineering. There will be money towards developing the BMC’s equity work focused on identifying and removing barriers to participation for people from Black Minority Ethnic communities who are currently underrepresented in mountaineering.
The first tranche of funding is due to be delivered to the BMC in April 2009. All of the work won’t happen at once but will be developed over a four-year programme. The funding that will be allocated in 2009 represents about 16% of the BMC’s annual income.
The funding does not cover all aspects of the BMC’s work and the BMC’s other income sources will continue to support the BMC Strategic Plan for 2009-12
All in all this is a very positive result in terms of helping the BMC support and develop its membership and services over the next few years.