Sport England have chosen three projects in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire out of the 12 places to work with on a bold new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England.
Around £100 million of National Lottery funding will be invested in the pilot schemes over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.
Nigel Harrison, CEO of Yorkshire Sport Foundation said: “This is brilliant news. We are delighted three of the 12 pilots are in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. This will give a real boost to the area and is a testament to the hard work put in by our partners.”
By focusing intensely in 12 areas, Sport England want to identify better ways to address these stubborn inequalities and break down the barriers that stop people getting active, such as poor transport, safety, cost and confidence. It will encourage wider, collaborative partnerships which look at how all parts of a community can better work together to help the most inactive. From the transport links and street lighting to the quality of parks and open spaces, to how sport and activity is promoted by GPs. Partnerships will encompass organisations beyond the sport sector such as voluntary groups, social enterprises, faith organisations and parenting groups.
Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive, said: “On our assessment visits to choose the pilot places I was vividly reminded that the barriers to getting active might have little to do with the activity itself, yet this is where we often start.
“I talked to one older lady who was very keen to start swimming again, but to do so she needed someone to sit with her husband who had dementia, a bus that stopped on the right side of a busy junction for the leisure centre, and a session with people like her in the pool rather than lots of children for example.
“Working with all of the partners in a local area means for the first time we can think about that broader range of issues and work right across the local system to address them.”
The 12 chosen places were selected following a rigorous selection process with our partners including Public Health England. They cover a mix of geographies (urban, rural and coastal), have a range of make-ups (local authorities, boroughs, counties) and varying population sizes and inequalities to address. They are: Birmingham and Solihull, Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, Essex, Great Exeter, Greater Manchester, Hackney, Pennine Lancashire, Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough, Southall, and Withernsea.
Details of the projects as we get them:
Partners will work closely alongside each place to devise a tailored approach based on the needs of communities. Each place is likely to have its own solutions and will have the support from expert teams.