SPORT Wales has awarded £1 million to help community sport clubs become more energy efficient.

Some 58 clubs across Wales have received an Energy Saving Grant, to be spent on reducing their utility bills and benefiting their local environment.

More than half of successful applicants plan to install solar panels, with others opting for upgrades such as LED lighting, motion sensors and sustainable water sourcing.

Clubs were able to apply for grants up to £25,000.

Brian Davies, CEO of Sport Wales, said it was “really important” clubs were financially sustainable and could benefit their communities with affordable activities.

“Many sport clubs that run premises have really struggled due to the financial impact of the cost-of-living crisis, so we are really pleased to be able to support their ideas for reducing their energy consumption which could save them significant amounts of money in both the short and long term," he said.

“Furthermore, these innovations are also helping to contribute to the climate emergency.

“We are confident that the return on our £1 million investment will be several times that amount in terms of the overall financial savings for clubs, helping them to keep the cost of sport as low as possible for participants.”

'Keep active'

Among the successful applicants were Stow Park Lawn Tennis Club in Newport, where heat has been escaping their clubhouse “faster than a Novak Djokovic serve”.

The club has received the maximum £25,000 grant to upgrade their windows and doors, replace their lighting with efficient LEDs, buy a new hot water heater and install solar panels with battery storage.

It is the first time Sport Wales have offered an Energy Saving Grant but they hope to award more in the future.

It has been funded by £10.3 million of capital funding for 2023/24 from the Welsh Government.

Deputy minister for sport Dawn Bowden MS said: “It’s excellent to see the funding being allocated across the country to a wide range of sport clubs.

“With no sign of the cost of living and cost of doing business abating any time soon - it’s imperative that we help our sport clubs to become more financially sustainable for the future, so that they can continue to serve our communities and keep people active.”