A nice crisp morning at Wembley Stadium saw the launch of the first funding round of the Wembley National Stadium Trust.
The Trust, which I chair, was set up in 1996 and was originally the vehicle which bid for National Lottery money for the new National Stadium to be built on the Wembley site. In exchange for the £120 million grant that secured the site it was a condition of the grant that once the new Stadium had been open for five years 1% of its turnover should be passed to the Trust for distribution as charitable grants.
The old stadium closed in 2000 and the new Stadium finally opened in 2007, which means that five years has now passed, and the Trust now has the proceeds to make its first grants. Applications are now open and the aim will be to award around £300,000 to projects supporting sports activities across Brent. Dozens of local groups are likely to benefit.
And to help us at the launch, I was joined by Rachel Yankey MBE, England’s most capped women’s footballer, and Olympic gold medal winning boxer James DeGale MBE, along with the Stadium’s Managing Director, Roger Maslin.
Full details of the application process are available on the Trust’s website at www.wnst.org.uk and applications must be received by 5pm on 7th December for this round of grants. Subsequent rounds will benefit projects across London and from time to time major nation-wide grants will be made.