Two councils have come together to support Carlisle-based sports clubs and groups facing hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council have both provided £10,000 each towards a new hardship fund, designed to help sports clubs and groups that are struggling given the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two councils have been working in partnership with Active Cumbria to develop the fund.

Active Cumbria has recently surveyed sports clubs in the area, and determined that a good number are struggling financially in light of the difficulties created by Covid-19.

The organisation found that due to the continued Covid-19 restrictions that have been in place for the best part of a year, many sports clubs and groups have struggled to raise money to pay for subscriptions, and have faced increased costs when hiring venues due to the extra requirements that come with ensuring venues are Covid-secure.

Following discussions between Active Cumbria, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council, plans for the hardship fund were drawn up.

The county council's Carlisle local committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to support the release of £10,000 for the fund, matching the city council's contribution to bring the total value of the fund to £20,000.

The hardship fund will be aimed at not-for-profit sports organisations that are struggling to with their financial resourcing, resulting in hardship - and possible closure.

The fund has been designed as a "very limited small grant pot", designed to prioritise any group that can demonstrate funding would be used for the purpose of keeping the club or group going, according to county council documents.

Priority will be given to organisations that are at risk of closure as a result of the pandemic, and who have not been able to receive Government grants.

Work is now underway to establish a "quick and effective process" to agree grant funding, which would involve officers of both authorities and lead members from both councils.