‘Astronomical’ energy costs are a concern for sports clubs in the Grantham area as winter approaches

Sports clubs in the region have expressed concern over rising energy costs, with some having to dip into money earmarked for long-term projects.

Drastically rising energy bills are impacting sports clubs in the Grantham area, including Kesteven Rugby Club and Harrowby United FC, with the latter boasting electricity bills four times the current rate.

These difficult times come after the financial uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020, putting many independent sports clubs under “a lot of pressure”.

Mobile floodlights used at Harrowby United. (60715421)

Kesteven Rugby Club, based in Woodnook, Grantham, say their energy costs are currently “astronomical”, but have opted not to raise membership fees.

Club treasurer Kerri Arlando said: “Our energy costs are astronomical at the moment, but as a club we didn’t want to increase membership fees to help cover them because everyone is feeling the pinch in this moment.

“We are looking at alternative energy sources and ways to improve our energy efficiency. This, however, has a ripple effect in other areas.”

Action from Kesteven's victory over Belper.  Photo: Toby Roberts (60710652)
Action from Kesteven’s victory over Belper. Photo: Toby Roberts (60710652)

Rising energy costs not only impact Kesteven’s short-term strategy, but also impact long-term plans.

“We were saving to upgrade our locker rooms because we currently don’t have separate locker rooms for men and women,” Kerri said.

“It looks like we’re going to have to dip into those funds to enable us to meet our ever-increasing energy costs. It’s a real shame as we are a growing club, especially with the women’s section of Kesteven.”

Kesteven Ladies (60215397)
Kesteven Ladies (60215397)

Harrowby United FC, who play at Dickens Road, described the energy crisis as “another blow to the club”, after two years of uncertainty and declining revenue due to Covid-19.

Amber Kitching, operations manager at Harrowby United, said: “As I imagine with most businesses, rising energy costs are a big concern for us at the moment.

“With heating and electricity costs soaring, we are under a lot of pressure to cover costs that we had not anticipated.

Amber Kitching (holding the award) with the Harrowby United team at the 2021 Grantham Journal Business Awards (53043713)
Amber Kitching (holding the award) with the Harrowby United team at the 2021 Grantham Journal Business Awards (53043713)

“For example, we see quotes for electricity that are four times higher than the current price. For voluntary sports facilities, this means that we have to increase revenue by the same amount, which is neither easy nor quick. .

“We are also unable to reduce our usage easily, as floodlights are a necessary evil in these circumstances.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and hope that government assistance will be forthcoming. But having come out of an extremely difficult period with Covid, now being affected by this is just another blow for the club.

“We want to develop and grow as a club, but things like this can easily derail those plans.”

An SKDC spokesperson said: “SKDC is continuously reviewing the situation at all premises for which we are responsible.

“Budget proposals for 2023-2024 will be debated as part of the annual budgeting process over the coming months.

‘Any price changes for Leisure Center rental or activities are determined by LeisureSK Ltd, a council owned company.’

  • Is your organization or business affected by rising energy costs? Tell us your story at [email protected]

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