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Sport England invests £250m to promote healthy exercise across the country

Sport England will be investing a quarter of a billion pounds into local communities across the country to remove barriers to regular exercise.

The investment extends the Place Partnerships programme which aims to break down barriers to ensure people in the greatest need are able to be physically active.

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth and Sports Minister Stuart Andrew announced the investment – funded by the Government and National Lottery – at Waterside Leisure Centre on Canvey Island, one of the places which will benefit from the scheme.

Mr Hollingsworth said: “Access to sport and physical activity in England is still not close to being a level playing field.

“Where a person lives and the environment around them has a huge impact on how likely they are to be physically active. Too often, people in low-income communities don’t have access to the same facilities or opportunities as wealthier areas.”

He continued: “This is manifestly unfair – and must be addressed as a real priority. That is why our expanded Place Partnership programme will unashamedly see us target our resources and efforts on communities that need the greatest levels of support and experience the greatest levels of inequality.

“We will invest most in those that need it most so that everyone has an equal chance to access the very real benefits of playing sport and be physically active.”

Of the £250million over the next five years, £190million will be focused on an additional 80-100 places which have the greatest need.

An additional £35million will go to strengthen work with existing partnerships with a further £25million creating key tools and resources to ensure every area of England can access support.

A statement from Sport England said: “We’ll target the greatest resource to areas with highest inactivity levels and other social need indicators.

“This is where this commitment can have the biggest impact on our key outcomes.

“Our targeted investment is on top of our universal place-based support, and over the coming months we’ll be developing and expanding this offer that includes leadership development, the transfer of learning and access to resources, advice and guidance for partners.”

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