Initial response to UK Government's 'Winter Survival Package'
Ice hockey included as part of government funding initiative
The Elite Ice Hockey League has welcomed today’s announcement by the UK Government that ice hockey has been included as part of the £300 million ‘Winter Survival Package’ across a range of sports, with an initial allocation of £4 million being made available to the EIHL.
The work being done behind the scenes in the EIHL, IHUK and the EIHA shows what can be done by a sport when it is united to work together to push our sport forward at this most difficult of times.
League Chairman Tony Smith explained that it will take some time, however, to decide what exactly this means for a possible return of top-flight ice hockey in the UK:
“We need to take a look at the finer details of the support package available, and how it should be used, before we can make any further comment about what this means going forward. It will be important for us to understand how much of the funding is made up of grants or loans, as that will have a large impact on how we can proceed, together with any additional requirements we need to fulfil from Sport England who will now take control of the funding process.
"As a league, we were quite clear over the summer that we needed fans in arenas or government support in order to play, and in this regard today’s announcement of funding is extremely welcome. However, I’d like to ask our fans to let us assess what exactly is available to us, and what possibilities this may or may not open up before we come back to you. There is a lot more detail still to come from the DCMS and Sport England that we need to know, and above all it’s important that we consider the sustainability of the entire Elite League both now and over the next few years before we make any final decisions.”
Everyone across UK ice hockey appreciates the support announced by Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston for our sport at this crucial time.