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- 16 June 2014 00:00
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Funding of £18 million has been awarded to over 600 primary schools across England in a move designed to help more children across the country get active.
The investment comes from Sport England’s Primary Spaces Facilities Fund and will enable 601 schools to improve their outdoor facilities and create spaces that encourage pupils to take part in play.
Sebastian Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, has welcomed the investment.
"A positive first experience of PE and sport at primary school is crucial to encouraging young people to be active throughout their lives, but for those schools with little or no outside space this can be extremely challenging to deliver,” said Coe.
"This funding will provide better outdoor multi-activity play areas at schools across the country that can be used both within the curriculum and outside school hours by local communities.
"I am convinced this will boost the opportunities for young people to be physically active.”
Schools will benefit from grants of up to £30,000 and many of them currently have very little outside space that is suitable for their pupils to play on.
The new funding will allow them to install colourful features like bouldering walls, activity tracks and ball hoops.
These facilities aim to allow the schools to run better PE lessons as well as increase activities at break-times and open up their playgrounds to the community.
"Having the right space to play sport and be physically active as a child is vitally important,” said Sport England Chairman Nick Bitel.
"We are delighted to be investing into these schools to improve the areas that will give children the space to start enjoying PE and sport.”
Sport England’s Primary Spaces Facilities Fund is run in partnership with the Department for Education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; the Department of Health, Cabinet Office; the Association for Physical Education; the County Sports Partnership Network and the Youth Sport Trust.
The fund builds on the Government’s commitment of over £450 million to schools until 2016 under the Primary PE and Sport Premium.