The Government has today announced that it has decided not to merge Sport England and UK Sport.
Chair of Sport England Richard Lewis said: “The decision not to merge Sport England and UK Sport is welcome news. It is a clear recognition of the importance of community sport and the specialist skills and the focus that are required to get more people playing sport. The expertise and investment that Sport England provides to grassroots sport is having a real impact with 15.5 million people playing sport once a week, every week and communities up and down the country seeing their playing fields, pavilions, sports halls and pitches improved.”
The decision comes after a review into how Sport England and UK Sport might work more efficiently and effectively led by Sir Keith Mills. It identified a number of significant strategic and operational benefits from closer working which the two organisations have already been putting into place in areas such as governance and the link between our talent investment and UK Sport’s elite investment. This collaboration will be made even smoother by plans bring the two organisations together in one location next year and to explore all back office savings that can be made when this happens.
Today’s decision means the search can begin for a new Chair of Sport England to replace Richard Lewis when he stands down at the end of his four-year term. Last year Richard was appointed as Chief Executive of The All England Club, which runs the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Richard said: “It has been a huge honour to Chair Sport England, an organisation which stands at the heart of sport in this country and which in recent years has made great progress in helping community sport to modernise, giving people the high quality experience they’re looking for. The result is that we have more people enjoying sport every week than ever before
“I am confident that Sport England will continue to prosper in the coming years. 2012 was a phenomenal year for sport and the future holds great opportunities, with a thriving grassroots sector and lots of major events coming to these shores. I knew when I took up my role as Chief Executive of the All England Club that time constraints meant I would not be seeking reappointment as Chair of Sport England. I wish everyone well for the future. ”