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10 Million To Deliver Sporting Legacy In Rural Communities

Sport England today revealed the sports projects that will benefit from a 10 million National Lottery fund to get more people playing sport in rural communities.

The successful bids were selected from over 500 applications to the Rural Communities fund, which was launched after Sport England research revealed that two thirds of the local authorities with the lowest sports participation rates are in rural areas.

The Rural Communities fund is the first of Sport England’s themed rounds aimed at addressing some of the biggest challenges to grassroots participation. It will help achieve our Olympic legacy goal of getting a million people playing more sport and our focus on building a world-leading community sport system.

Sport Englands Chair, Richard Lewis, said:

Everyone should have the chance to find the sport they really enjoy. The projects were investing in today will help us tackle the barriers to participation in rural communities, by delivering sustainable sporting opportunities to thousands of people.

Chosen through a competitive process, the investment decisions announced today include:

  • 589,952 for Devon Active Villages, a programme to get 30,000 people of all ages from 156 villages across Devon playing a variety of sports including rugby union, table tennis, hockey, cricket, football and cycling.
  • 601,952 for Derbyshire Village Games, a project that will see 60 villages and 12,000 participants taking part in sporting events over the next three years. 600 new volunteers will help to deliver village sports, with an average of one event being staged every day.
  • 1.675 million for The SportsHub@Treviglas in Newquay, a new sports centre which will provide high quality sporting facilities to over 15,000 people living in a rural area marked by high levels of deprivation.
  • 372,000 for Cycle Suffolk, a project that will see 2,100 school children joining British Cyclings GO ride cycle scheme over three years as well as  2,000 people joining village cycling schemes and 220 people taking part in disabled cycling programmes.
  • 175,000 for the South West Lakes Trusts Outdoor n Active project to improve the sporting opportunities offered on and around inland lakes in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.
  • 577,701 for Norfolk Village Games which will see over 100 village teams, involving over 9,000 people, competing in village games over three years. Sports on offer will include softball, tennis, netball, football, badminton, tug of war and archery. The project will generate 1,000 new sports club members and 140 new coaches.
  • 24,728 for Old Village Hall in rural Northamptonshire for a versatile village hall, large enough for social badminton and yoga, and new changing rooms with access to the existing sports and cricket field.
  • 174,285 for two programmes in central and north Bedfordshire Re-activ8 Gold Rural and Get Back Into designed to provide coaching to the over-fifties and create more opportunities for people to get back into sport.
  • 314,866 for Bridport Leisure Centre to upgrade dry changing facilities and build new outdoor sports changing facilities, increasing the sports clubs capacity and appeal to women, girls and the over-55s from local rural areas.
  • 234,144 for Huntingdonshire District Council for Dash, a project which will tackle transport barriers and help up to 8,000 residents and workers in the districts 17 villages play more sport.

Todays announcement was welcomed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw MP:

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Ben Bradshaw said:

Investing in these exciting and innovative schemes creates another way people in rural communities across England can benefit from the Government’s drive to boost the nation’s health and fitness in the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.?

Those who live in rural areas deserve to have access to high-quality schemes and facilities, and the chance to try out new and more unusual sports, just as much as people in towns and cities.

Dr Stuart Burgess, Chairman of the Commission for Rural Communities and the Governments Rural Advocate, said:

I am delighted there has been such a high level of interest in Sport Englands fund dedicated to creating sporting opportunities for people in rural areas. I hope that the investment decisions being announced today will inspire many more people from a wide variety of backgrounds and with different levels of ability to take part in sporting activities in rural areas. I hope more good projects from rural communities will benefit from funding in the future.

Sport England defined rural communities on the basis of the Governments Rural and Urban Areas Classification.

Sport England invests National Lottery and Exchequer funding in organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport.

Sport England is committed to creating a world-leading community sport system, and has set specific and measurable targets to achieve by 2012/13:

  • One million people doing more sport

  • A 25% reduction in the number of 16- to 18-year-olds who drop out of at least five key sports

  • Improved talent development systems in at least 25 sports

  • A measurable increase in peoples satisfaction with their experience of sport

  • A major contribution to the delivery of the five hour sports offer for children and young people.

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