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Sport England's £250m 'Get Active' plan to focus on most deprived areas

Deniz Huseyin
23 November 2023
Lisa Dodd-Mayne: We want to ensure that a wide range of local spaces where people can be active – be it a facility, park or outdoor space – are the right spaces that meet the needs of the community
Lisa Dodd-Mayne: We want to ensure that a wide range of local spaces where people can be active – be it a facility, park or outdoor space – are the right spaces that meet the needs of the community

 

Sport England is to invest £250m over the next five years to help people in around 100 of the most socially deprived areas get more exercise. The decision follows new research that shows inactivity rates are double in the most deprived areas.

The investment supports the Government’s Get Active strategy, which set targets of getting 2.5m more adults and one million more children active by 2030 to tackle the disparities in activity levels across society says Sport England. 

Sport England said that over the last five years, through the evaluation of its local delivery pilots and through longer-term investment in the network of 43 Active Partnerships, targeted action, built on the “deep insights and understanding” of the people who live and work in a place, is creating positive lasting change.

This approach uses a range of data sources, including physical activity data from Active Lives Surveys, as well as wider social data, community need and health inequalities data, said the arms-length government body, which is responsible for growing and developing grassroots sport and getting more people active across England. 

Sport England Chief Executive, Tim Hollingsworth, said the money – a quarter of its budget – signalled “an unashamed reprioritisation of our resources” to help those in greatest need.

“Access to sport and physical activity in England is still not close to being a level playing field,” Hollingsworth said. “Too often, people in low-income communities don’t have access to the same facilities or opportunities as wealthier areas. This is manifestly unfair.

"We have shown through our local delivery pilots that this approach works. We will continue to work with local experts from a range of locally trusted organisations and partners in a bottom-up way to break down the barriers that prevent their community’s least active members from joining in.

"We want to ensure that a wide range of local spaces where people can be active – be it a facility, park or outdoor space – are the right spaces that meet the needs of the community.”

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director of Place, Sport England, said: "We will continue to work with local experts from a range of locally trusted organisations and partners in a bottom-up way to break down the barriers that prevent their community’s least active members from joining in.

"We want to ensure that a wide range of local spaces where people can be active – be it a facility, park or outdoor space – are the right spaces that meet the needs of the community.”

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