Sport England has today announced itsPlaces & Spaces fund has been bolstered to £7m with the ambition of upgrading and creating sport and physical activity facilities so that more people
in England can get active.
Nationwide organisations are invited to apply, with additional focus being given to applications from Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Tyne & Wear and Tees Valley.
These four areas have been selected for targeted investment to support people to get active because they have been identified as areas of underrepresentation. This work forms part of Sport England and the government’s levelling up agenda to tackle inequalities across the country – including health inequalities, which were exacerbated by the pandemic.
The Places & Spaces fund is developed in partnership with Crowdfunder. Eligible applicants can receive up to a maximum of £10,000 for their club or organisation, as well as significant support to help set up and run a successful rewards-based community crowdfunding campaignto benefit their local communities.
For successful applicants, matched funding can be used for small scale facility improvements. This will help to develop places and spaces that want to use the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 as a catalyst to improve community sport & physical activity.
Thereisno set criteria on what Sport England will fund, but examples include:
- improvements to pavilions, changing rooms and clubhouses to encourage greater usage and be more welcoming
- developing a new physical activity offer for people who are currently inactive such as walking football or netball
- improving facilities in response to local demand by installing floodlights
- supporting upgrades to natural turf, artificial grass pitches and multi-use games areas
- improve access for players, volunteers and coaches with disabilities
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:
“Birmingham 2022 will be a festival of sport at the highest level. But for its true impact to be felt it must also be used as a catalyst to help communities all over the country get active, connect, and have fun.
“By making our Places & Spaces fund available nationally, and focusing on areas with the greatest need, we’re allowing organisations to provide brilliant new facilities in their local area to help tackle inequalities and allow everyone to enjoy sport and get active in outstanding environments.
Chief Executive of Merseyside Sports Partnership, Tom Douglas said:
“Places and Spaces and our own strategy are focused on tackling inequalities and creating opportunities for more people to be able to access the right place at the right time in their local community. This fund will prioritise projects working with and engaging low-participant groups and communities of greater need, where we’ve seen there are traditionally more barriers to being active.
“In these challenging times we urge community organisations and clubs to look at this funding opportunity to raise awareness of the great work they do and how they can improve their offer to enable more people to be active in their local neighbourhoods”. Photo by Spiralz from England, Wikimedia commons.