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Opening School Facilities

Sport England are providing funding to enable more schools to open their facilities to the public once the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is over. The funding, which has been provided by the Department of Education, will help schools deliver extra-curricular activities and open their facilities outside of the school day during evenings, weekends and school holidays (although large scale capital/building works aren’t eligible for this funding).

Funding should be used to help schools offer extra-curricular opportunities including opening facilities in a COVID-19 secure manner. Examples given include:

  • Help schools with their own pool on site to safely open them – this can include purchasing water testing kits and plant servicing following guidance from Swim England.
  • Help schools to meet COVID-19 measures by purchasing additional signage, touch free entry points, Perspex screens and additional cleaning equipment.
  • Purchase additional sports, activity, and storage equipment.
  • To improve the accessibility of school sports facilities, especially for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This could include buying adaptive sports equipment.
  • Where relevant provide funding for additional short-term staffing challenges which prevent schools from opening facilities or delivering sessions.

The objective of this work is to support schools to open their facilities outside of the normal school day (evenings, weekends, and holidays) to allow young people more opportunities to be physically active, supporting their physical and mental wellbeing. Using local intelligence to identify schools that do not use, or only have limited access to, their school sport facilities outside the school day, the aim is to identify the barriers to opening up their premises and facilitate solutions to support schools.


  • Support / funding should be targeted predominantly to support schools with a high percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals, the least active and to provide more opportunities for pupils with SEND to take part in activities.
  • Funding should focus on increasing the breadth of the community provision (not displacing existing activity but adding to it) – in consultation with local sports providers, NGBs and SGOs.
  • Secondary schools are expected to be the main beneficiaries of this funding, but where appropriate, primary schools can also receive funding/support.

Whilst Yorkshire Sport Foundation will co-ordinate the distribution of the funding, local insight is imperative to ensure that this funding is invested in the most valuable way. Therefore, each district has been given the flexibility to employ the approach that best meets the local needs and circumstances.

Schools are being asked to contact the local district co-ordinator who will be able to provide details of the local approach being taken:

Bradford:            Ian Holmes – ianmarkholmes@gmail.com, 07917 163827

Calderdale:        Rebecca Antcliffe – Rebecca.Antcliffe@calderdale.gov.uk

Kirklees:              Paul Cummins – paul.cummins@kirklees.gov.uk, 07973 936237

Leeds:                 TBC (Interim contact – Katy Bowden – Katy.Bowden@leeds.gov.uk)

Wakefield:         Peter Ward – pward@wakefield.gov.uk, 07785 243613

Barnsley:            Stuart Rogers – StuartRogers@barnsley.gov.uk, 01226 772223

Doncaster:         Dean Wiffen – Dean.Wiffen@doncaster.gov.uk, 01302 735403

Rotherham:       Chris Siddall – Chris.Siddall@rotherham.gov.uk, 07795 811434

Sheffield:            Emma Banks – Emma.Banks@sheffield.gov.uk, 07761 058622

National Governing Bodies and other sports organisations should contact Gillian Brown – gillian.brown@yorkshiresport.org, 07794 248083

Please see Frequently Asked Questions for more information on eligibility and criteria.

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