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- 29 October 2013 00:00
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- Last Modified: 29 October 2013 10:08
Local community sports groups can now bid for a share of £15 million of National Lottery investment from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities legacy fund with 1,300 groups having already benefited from it.
Over £71 million has already been invested in the first four rounds of funding, with more than 530 projects complete and operational.
There will also be further rounds to follow after an additional £40 million was committed to extend the fund until 2017.
"Inspired Facilities is one of our most popular funds, showing the importance of good, local sports facilities; not only do they improve the sporting experience of existing users they also help attract new ones,” said Sport England Chair Nick Bitel.
"With £15 million of lottery funding available and a further £40 million over coming rounds, there are plenty of opportunities to benefit from this fund.”
Investment is available to breathe new life into tired facilities that can be unattractive, expensive to run and difficult to maintain, putting these clubs right back at the heart of their local communities.
There is also money available to convert existing buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport.
"Sport England’s Inspired Facilities legacy fund is giving a huge boost to community sport and transforming local sports facilities across the country,” said Minister for Sport Helen Grant.
"Well over a thousand sport clubs have benefited from this fund and with £15 million of National Lottery available in the next round this investment will help even more clubs upgrade their facilities.”
One project to benefit from the fund is Wigan Judo Club that received £50,000.
Following an arson attack in 2006, which forced the closure of their 40-year-old dojo, the club has been without a permanent home.
As a result, membership of the club suffered but the investment from Sport England has allowed the club to renovate an old warehouse to turn it into a permanent home.
"It is no exaggeration to say Sport England's support has given Wigan Judo Club a new lease of life,” said the Head Coach of Wigan Judo Club Phil Sullivan.
"It's not just a question of the grants - although these have allowed us to renovate a new facility and create a dedicated dojo and training suite - but the support, insight and motivation provided by the Inspired Facilities team have been a real boost to morale.”
Community and voluntary organisations are able to bid for grants of between £20,000 and £50,000, with other organisations such as councils and schools able to apply for grants of up to £150,000.
Sports groups can find out more and bid by Clicking Here