Trends & Features

Hundreds of local community sports groups receive Olympic legacy funding

350 local community sports groups are celebrating today (December 22) after being offered a total of £17.4 million in Olympic legacy funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.

Part of the £135 million Places People Play National Lottery-funded legacy programme, all 350 facilities will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the 2012 Games.

“For hundreds of clubs and tens of thousands of people, 2012 will be the year their local sports facilities got better,” says Sport England’s chair, Richard Lewis.

“We’ve had unprecedented demand for this fund, which has really hit the mark with sports clubs. It shows we’re offering the sporting legacy that people want.”

It’s hoped the investments 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 grass roots sport and to allow local clubs to buy the facilities they use.

The investments include:

• £46,000 to buy a new permanent home for a boxing club in Oxford that was at risk of being closed down.

• £28,000 to resurface two tennis courts at Windermere Lawn Tennis Club, where tree roots had made the existing courts unsafe.

• £50,000 to replace the roof at Worcester Citizens’ Swimming Pool, which currently has a number of serious leaks that were threatening its future.

• £50,000 to upgrade a 35-year-old clubhouse at Great Eccleston Cricket Club in Preston, including disabled access with changing and toilet facilities.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by the Local Government Association.

Cllr Chris White, chair of its Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, says: “In spite of budget pressures, councils are striving to keep supporting local sports clubs and want to work with them in creating a lasting and meaningful Olympic and Paralympic legacy.

“This much needed funding will hopefully act as a catalyst to further strengthen local partnerships between councils and sports clubs and get more people playing sport.”

At least £52 million will be invested through Inspired Facilities.

Responding to the unprecedented demand, Sport England has made over £7 million of additional awards in the first round of investment decisions, taking the total to over £17 million.

There will be four more funding rounds as part of Inspired Facilities, with the second round opening on February 1, 2012.

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