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- 28 April 2014 00:00
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Cities across England now have the chance to bid to become the first City of Football.
Once selected, the City of Football will receive up to £1.6 million funding from Sport England in order to run the programme.
The initiative itself will be a pilot programme that unites public, private and voluntary organisations to get more people playing all forms of the grassroots game – particularly those aged 14-25 years old.
The funding for the City of Football programme comes from the £1.6 million that Sport England cut in their funding for the Football Association (FA).
Sport England cut £1.6 million in their funding for the FA after the National Governing Body (NGB) failed to stop the decline in people, particularly young people, taking part in football.
The City of Football looks to help address the issue by creating a range of new opportunities to encourage more people to play football regularly.
It will share the insight it gains with the FA to help the NGB grow the game.
"Whilst the number of people playing football regularly has declined, it is still one of England’s most popular sports and the unmet demand to play is high if the offer is right,” said Sport England’s Director of Sport Phil Smith.
"From kick-abouts in the park to 5-a-side friendlies to 11-a-side leagues, we want to find the city that wants this title more than any other, that will do whatever it takes to get more people playing the game regularly.”
Expressions of interest are invited from consortiums of local partners that are committed to working together to deliver a City of Football.
Applications should demonstrate commitment at the highest level and explain why this mix of local partners can together increase the number of people playing football in their city.
The application process to host the City of Football is now open and will close on May 23, 2014.
A shortlist of cities will then be selected to explore in more detail their potential to be the City of Football.
For more information about how to bid to host the City of Football, Click Here