The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has welcomed the news that the British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF) will be directing £1.1m of its cash reserves to support GBGB deliver on important welfare initiatives which fall under its Greyhound Commitment.

The outlined proposal from the GBGB was to invest the money into three projects:

1. Air-conditioning for trainers’ vehicles

Grants for trainers to help upgrade their vehicles with appropriate air-conditioning and insulation for transporting greyhounds to and from tracks. Amount £690,000.

2. Kennelling Project

The new PAS external residential greyhound kennel inspections are due to start in April. There will be a need to provide grants to trainers to assist them to meet these standards over the next couple of years. Whilst the GBGB already has a budget for trainers’ assistance the BGRF agreed an increase in funding for 2021/22. Increase in spending £310,000.

3. Grants for Independent Homing Kennels

Since the launch of the Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) in September 2020, many independent homing centres have been approved as part of the scheme. Many are small, charitable and not-for-profit organisations and for the first year of GRS operations, it was felt appropriate to endorse these new relationships with homing centres by offering limited grants to support these kennels. Amount £100,000.

Commenting on the additional funding, Joe Scanlon, BGRF Chairman, said:

“When you’re relying on volunteer contributions which are received 6 months in arrears, forecasting our income is always tricky, but with all that has happened this year it’s proven a real challenge. It is therefore particularly satisfying that the board have been able to find the money to support these very worthwhile projects.”

Welcoming the news, GBGB Managing Director, Mark Bird said:

“We were invited by the BGRF to submit a proposal as to how GBGB might spend the available money on welfare projects. We are particularly pleased to be in receipt of this funding as the money we receive via the levy from bookmakers is likely to be significantly reduced this year due to the impact of COVID restrictions.

“This sum will go directly to funding important welfare projects that fall under our Greyhound Commitment, from helping our trainers to improve their facilities to supporting our approved GRS homing centres provide the best care possible for their retired racers.”