Hundreds of Grassroots Sports Clubs Share in £19.4 Million Olympic Legacy Boost

£19.4m being distributed to 377 community sports projects in every part of England as part of the Olympic legacy

Funding for legacy programme increased by £15 million thanks to strong sales of National Lottery tickets

Sport England invites more sports clubs to bid for the next £10 million in its Inspired Facilities Programme as Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave hails legacy programme

With just 10 days to go until the Olympic Games begin, 377 community sports groups are celebrating after securing a share of over £19 million of Olympic legacy funding. The announcement comes after new figures showed more people than ever are playing sport every week.

The National Lottery investment comes from the Inspired Facilities Fund – part of Sport England’s Places People Play Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme. All the facilities will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games.

Even more local sports clubs could benefit as Sport England today launched another £10 million funding round of Inspired Facilities.

Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: “There’s a lot to celebrate as we welcome the world’s greatest athletes to London, but what happens to our local sports facilities in 2012 is just as important. The £19m investment we’re announcing today means people in every part of England will see improved sports facilities on their own doorsteps.”

Responding to strong demand from sports clubs, the budget for the latest round of Inspired Facilities has been doubled – an increase made possible by an increase of £15 million to Sport England’s Olympic legacy programme thanks to strong sales of lottery tickets.

Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said: “Hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games gives us an opportunity to put sport in the spotlight and encourage more people to participate. That’s exactly what Places People Play is about. It’s already having a positive impact on grassroots sport in communities up and down the country and the additional £15 million will spread that further, helping to leave a real sports legacy long after the Games.”

In addition to the £19,399,408 announced today, sports playing fields and facilities across the country had already received more than £46 million through Sport England’s Places People Play legacy programme. As well as these investments, over 80,000 young people have got into sport through Sportivate, over 18,000 people have been inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics to become a Sport Maker and more than 100,000 have signed up to do a sporting challenge for charity through Gold Challenge.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave, said: “Already this legacy programme has brought sporting opportunities to every corner of the country.

“So wherever you live you too can be part of it, whether that’s making sport happen in your neighbourhood as a Sport Maker or getting out there and enjoying sport at decent local facilities.”

The investments announced today will breathe new life into tired facilities that can be unattractive to sports participants and difficult to maintain and run. Grants have also been offered to convert existing buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport and to allow local clubs to buy the facilities they use.

The funding is supporting a wide range of projects, including:

Basketball players in Ipswich who have to train and play at nine different facilities are finally getting a permanent home thanks to £22,875 of funding. It means Copleston High School can install a sprung floor in its sports hall which will now host Ipswich Basketball Club as well as providing great facilities for the school’s 1,800 pupils.

  • A community project in the Olympic borough of Newham has secured £50,000 to install a permanent gymnastics floor. The West Silvertown Foundation will be home to gymnasts and cheer-leaders as well as offering a wide range of dance and exercise classes.
  • Bradfield Cricket Club near Reading will get a new clubhouse after securing £42,650 to replace facilities that were gutted in a fire caused by an arson attack in November.
  • A derelict Royal British Legion building is to be turned into a thriving boxing club after Redditch Community Amateur Boxing Club in Worcestershire secured £50,000. The club will offer a wide range of classes to community users and aims to use boxing as a vehicle for social change.

Places People Play is being delivered by Sport England. We are working in partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) with the backing of LOCOG and the London 2012 Inspire mark.

LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe, said: “This is a fantastic funding project that will deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games. It will provide a whole range of sporting opportunities for young people through improved facilities and will, I hope, inspire them to take up sport.”

Fourteen community projects that are benefiting disadvantaged young people have been awarded a total of £107,901 in additional funding from the Thomas Cook’s Children’s Charity, Sport England’s partner for Inspired Facilities.

Pete Constanti, Chairman of the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, said: “In this Olympic year, we’re really pleased to be able to award funding to these projects to help improve their facilities as they continue encouraging more children to get involved in sport who might otherwise not be able to. We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of applications for our grants and the fund, which highlights the amazing work being done by volunteers in sports clubs up and down the country.”

Figures released recently by Sport England have shown that the total number of adults in England taking part in sport at least once a week has reached 15.3 million, an increase of 1.3 million since 2005/6 when London won the Olympic bid.

+44 (0)1403 790294