£20 million investment for Community Sports Clubs

Press Releasein Industry News

£20 Million Investment for Community Sports Clubs

Press Release

Sport England today announced that it has committed more than £20 million to around 330 community sports club projects throughout England.

Projects ranging from the restoration of playing fields, new pitch lighting, and the upgrading of tennis courts, to the modernisation of cycling tracks and new synthetic pitches, will benefit 16 sports through the Community Club Development Programme, managed by Sport England and funded by the Treasury. Awards vary in size from around £5,000 to £925,000, with over half of the £20 million investment going into projects directly located in or impacting on the 20 percent most deprived parts of the country.

This investment represents the successful completion of the first wave of funding from the Community Club Development Programme, a three-year, £60 million Exchequer fund designed to give 16 National Governing Bodies the opportunity to bid directly for funds for community capital projects throughout England. The success of the Programme, which Sport England has developed with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the National Governing Bodies, was dependent on £20 million being committed by 31st March 2004. The Programme has also secured an additional £11 million of inward investment into sport through partnering with a number of organisations including the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and European Regeneration as well as local authorities.

Commenting on the Community Club Development Programme, Roger Draper, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:

"This programme is an innovative way of helping to ensure that community clubs - the heart of grassroots sports development in England - receive the capital investment they need. This is central to achieving our vision of England becoming the most active and successful sporting nation in the world.

"Our objective in managing this Treasury-funded programme is to respond to the priorities of each Governing Body. As part of the modernisation of sport in England, Sport England has committed these funds on the basis of the bids of the nation's most popular sports themselves. This programme has for the first time given the sports the opportunity to identify capital projects in need of investment and to work in partnership with Sport England to make them a success."

The 16 National Governing Bodies invited to bid for the Community Club Development Programme are: badminton, basketball, canoeing, cricket, cycling, football, gymnastics, hockey, judo, netball, rowing, rugby league, rugby union, table tennis, tennis and swimming. Of these, cricket, football, rugby union and tennis have an allocation each of £9.4 million over three years. The remaining 12 sports have a total allocation of £20 million over three years.

The Community Club Development Programme: funding overview (awards to date) by Governing Body as at 31st March 2004:

Badminton: £448,389 on 5 projects
Basketball: £205,809 on 2 projects
Canoeing: £380,250 on 56 projects
Cricket: £2,566,449 on 95 projects
Cycling: £588,136 on 3 projects
Football: £6,706,447 on 19 projects
Gymnastics: £60,076 on 1 project
Hockey: £185,000 on 2 projects
Judo: £45,625 on 2 projects
Netball: £436,500 on 2 projects
Rowing: £1,372,056 on 27 projects
Rugby league: £38,188 on 1 project
Rugby union: £6,441,189 on 98 projects
Table tennis: £14,777 on 1 project
Tennis: £4,413,234 on 13 projects
Swimming: (- no funding allocated in first phase - applications made for second phase funding)

The Community Club Development Programme: funding overview by region as at 31st March 2004:

East: £4.995m to 30 projects
East Midlands: £2.5m to 34 projects
London: £1.5m on 18 projects
National Projects: £2.16m on 87 projects
North East: £770,000 on 12 projects
North West: £4.64m on 49 projects
South East: £1.45m on 24 projects
South West: £2.4m on 23 projects
West Midlands: £1.1m on 16 projects
Yorkshire: £2.4m on 33 projects

Community Club Development Programme: project examples


Bedford & County Badminton Club - The club has received a grant of £49,000 to modernise the badminton hall to include new flooring, lighting and heating. This will dramatically enhance the playing conditions and will help the club to increase membership. The club has been strategically identified by the Badminton Association of England for investment and has strong links with the local authority. The project is key to the development of badminton in Bedford and surrounding areas.

Peterborough RUFC Ltd, who are located in the top 13% most deprived parts of the country, have been awarded a grant of £58,484 towards the installation of floodlights to increase the number of matches the club can play. The new facilities will compliment the club's existing provision and enable it to host night time matches, including the local schools. The club is a key site for the development of rugby union in the area and this investment will help to ensure the club's long-term future.

East Midlands:

Chesterfield Lawn Tennis Club has been awarded £650,000 for works to enhance their clubhouse, to construct 3 indoor framed fabric courts, 3 porous macadam courts and a kidszone. The club has an excellent track record of delivering a tennis programme to the local community and through this investment will be able to build on their current links. Both the Lawn Tennis Association and Chesterfield Borough Council have strategically identified the club for investment as a key area for the development of tennis in North Derbyshire.

Shropshire Paddlesport have only been in existence for two years, but in that time they have come to the forefront of canoeing in Oswestry. The club have been awarded a grant of £120,000 to purchase the freehold of their site, thus ensuring their long-term future. The grant will also help to modernise the clubhouse. This scheme was identified as a priority for the British Canoe Union to secure a base for canoeing in Shropshire and to help the club to continue to offer canoeing opportunities to the local community.


Blackheath Lawn Tennis Club / Cricket Club - Both the Lawn Tennis Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board have chosen to invest in this site. Cricket will be investing in match and practise synthetic playing surfaces whereas tennis will be upgrading four courts and installing floodlighting. This will enhance the playing facilities at the site and aid the long-term sustainability of sport in Blackheath and surrounding areas.

London Borough of Southwark - an investment of £925,000 will go towards a total project cost of £ 1.87million. This mainly football project will modernise facilities in Burgess Park, through the provision of a new changing pavilion and an all weather pitch. The site is also used by local rugby and cricket teams. Additional funding has been secured from the London Borough of Southwark, Aylesbury Estate New Deal in the Community, European Regional Development Fund and Single Regeneration Budget 6, which demonstrates multi-agency support for the development which is located in a ward classified in the top 10% most deprived wards in the country.

National Projects:

Project Oarsome Xtra - The Amateur Rowing Association has been awarded £285,000 to deliver Project Oarsome Xtra, which is part of the ARA's 15+ programme that is designed to retain young people in the sport and attract new ones to it. The award will provide for the purchasing of junior rowing boats for a minimum of 20 clubs, 10 of which will be based in areas of multiple deprivation. The selected clubs all have excellent local links, including partnerships with local schools.

The British Canoe Union have received a grant award of £139,250 to support their Placid Water Programme, a nationwide project introducing young people (U12) to canoeing. The grant will be used to purchase equipment that includes the introduction of a new class of canoe with associated competition class and coaching syllabus. The BCU will also purchase a number of Ergo Machines to provide a dry start to the sport, allowing coaches to teach techniques in a warm and safe environment rather than on the water. Revenue funding from a number of partners will be used to support the delivery of the project with investment in coaching and volunteers. Around 52 canoe clubs and canoe sites from all over the country will benefit from the investment.

North East:

Sport England, in partnership with The Football Association and the Football Foundation, is investing in the development of Eastfield Avenue Recreation Ground. Other partners investing in the site include East End Partnership SRB and Newcastle City Council. The new facilities will include an extension to the changing facilities, a new junior size grass pitch and an upgrade to the existing floodlit all-weather pitch to provide two five a side pitches. The project is located in an area within the top 20% most deprived parts of the country.

A joint bid by Hetton Hawks Cycling Club and Sunderland City Council has been awarded £112,000 to develop the cycle track and provide a BMX facility in Hetton Lyons Country Park. With BMX biking being added to the Olympic programme (Bejing 2008) British Cycling identified the track as a priority, supporting cycling development from recreational users through to World Class athletes.

North West:

Barrow Thorns Community Basketball Ltd - The building of the Coach, Official and Volunteer development room, through a grant of £115,809, will provide a much needed resource for the future investment of basketball and sport in the Barrow area. The club driven basketball facility is situated in a community that suffers from deprivation and forms part of a recognized Sport Action Zone, and has proved to be a catalyst for sports development within the area since its original construction through Sport England investment.

Hathershaw Technology College - The school has been awarded a grant of £196,500 to develop a high quality netball facility that will service the College, Oldham Netball Club, Oldham Netball League and the local community. The project is a partnership between Sport England, the All England Netball Association, the local authority, New Deal in the Community, the College and local clubs. The project will also be supported by the appointment of a community netball coach. The facility has been strategically identified by the Governing Body and is aimed at enhancing the quality of life for this deprived part of Oldham. England Netball are also seeking to increase the number of ethnic minorities playing the sport and the community coach will encourage participation at this site from local ethnic communities.

South East:

Slough RFC Ltd has been awarded £31,023 towards the cost of floodlights for training purposes. The club has strong links with the Berkshire Sports Partnership and the local authority and is seeking to increase its membership from local ethnic communities. The project has been strategically identified by the Rugby Football Union as a key site in the area for the development of the sport.

Amersham & Chilton - have received a grant of £27,148 towards a pitch improvements programme. Improving the quality of playing surfaces has been identified by the Rugby Football Union as a key area of development to enable the sport to retain and increase membership. This project is an example of the type of project that the RFU is seeking to invest in and will help to enhance facilities at a local level for the club.

South West:

Bristol Hawks Gymnastics Club have received a grant of just over £60,000 to modernise their facility and to purchase some much needed equipment. The club is located in one of the most deprived wards in the country and was put forward by British Gymnastics for funding. The club has a strong track record in the community, working in partnership with the Easton Sure Start Programme as well as a number of local schools. The club is delighted with the award that will enable the club to install a new sprung floor, suitable for the sport of gymnastics and physical activity within the community.

Cambourne RFC, who are located in the top 10% most deprived parts of the country, have received an award of £68,071 towards full pitch training lights. The club already has 150 juniors actively participating in the club and are seeking to increase this through this investment. The club has been strategically identified by the Cornwall Sports Partnership, Cornwall Rugby Football Union as well as the National Governing Body.

West Midlands:

Newcastle Track Cycling Association has received an award of £239,101 to resurface the track at Clayton, Newcastle Under Lyme. The club has an excellent existing record of links with schools and the community, which they are committed to sustaining and expanding through the investment into this site. The investment into Newcastle Track will not only benefit cyclists at both a local and regional level, but will also strengthen the club's infrastructure through enabling the development of coaches, volunteers and officials.

Redditch Hockey Club in partnership with Redditch Borough Council have been awarded £110,000 for the extension and resurfacing of the synthetic turf pitch at Batchley Park. Redditch Borough Council has provided partnership funding of £210,000 as well as the project management and procurement skills necessary to progress this project. The Hockey Club will now be able to host training and matches through all age groups on site and to utilise the base for their 'home' fixtures. The club will now be able to develop their community focus, as well as working together with the other sports clubs on site (rugby, football and cricket) to provide opportunities to participate in formal and informal sport. England Hockey had selected Redditch Hockey club for its community focus, ability to develop partnerships and aid the long-term sustainability of the club.


Doncaster Rowing Club - this £400,000 project is a partnership with the club, local authority, ARA, Sport England and New Deal in the Community who are working together to see this project come to fruition. The club plays a key role in this socially disadvantaged area and is of local and regional importance to the development of rowing. Through enhancing the facilities available, the investment will enable the club to enhance its links with local schools and the local community.

Leeds City Tennis Club - The proposed development at Cross Flatts Park will convert some derelict land, unplayable as a sports area, into 2 floodlit multi use games areas for tennis, football, basketball and netball use. This multi sport project, which is located in the top 5% most deprived parts of the country, will create an urban city tennis club and aid the regeneration of the South Leeds area. It will create much needed sports facilities and contribute to improving the quality of life for people in the area. Other funders include the Football Foundation, SRB and Green Leeds.

Sports England Web Site: www.sportengland.org

This Press Release can be accessed at www.sportengland.org/news/press_releases/20mill_community_sports.shtml

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