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Funding boost as Places and Spaces fund goes nationwide

Now with a pot of £7 million, the fund matches successful crowdfunding campaigns of up to £10,000 as organisations look to use Birmingham 2022 as a catalyst to improve places and spaces to get active.

12th April 2022

Our Places and Spaces fund is being boosted to £7 million as it goes nationwide to help communities across England benefit from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Originally launched in November, with £3.5m to cater for organisations from the West Midlands, we’re now committing extra National Lottery funding to extend the fund across England and help community organisations make small-scale facility improvements that will help to develop places and spaces wanting to use Birmingham 2022 as a catalyst to improve community sport and physical activity.

While the fund is now available to applicants nationwide, four areas have been selected for targeted investment to support people to get, having been identified as areas of underrepresentation in activity figures.

A smiling woman stands with one hand on a ballet barre, while another in the background also smiles and laughs

These areas are Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear and Tees Valley, with this work forming part of ours, and the government’s, levelling up agenda to tackle inequalities across the country – including health inequalities, that were worsened by the pandemic.

And for our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth, a home Games is an opportunity not to be missed.

“Birmingham 2022 will be a festival of sport at the highest level,” he said.

“But for its true impact to be felt it must also be used as a catalyst to help communities all over the country get active, connect, and have fun.

“By making our Places and Spaces fund available nationally, and focusing on areas with the greatest need, we’re allowing organisations to provide brilliant new facilities in their local area to help tackle inequalities and allow everyone to enjoy sport and get active in outstanding environments.”

Places and Spaces has been developed in partnership with Crowdfunder and will see us award match funding of up to £10,000 so eligible applicants who run a successful community crowdfunding campaign.

In addition to providing the crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder will also provide significant support to help organisations set up and run a successful rewards-based crowdfunding campaign that benefits their local community.

“Birmingham 2022 will be a festival of sport at the highest level. But for its true impact to be felt it must also be used as a catalyst to help communities all over the country get active, connect, and have fun."

Tim Hollingsworth

Chief executive, Sport England

There are no set criteria on what we’ll fund, but some examples include:

  • improvements to pavilions, changing rooms and clubhouses to encourage greater usage and be more welcoming 
  • developing a new physical activity offer for people who are currently inactive, such as walking football or netball
  • improving facilities in response to local demand by installing floodlights
  • supporting upgrades to natural turf, artificial grass pitches and multi-use games areas
  • improve access for players, volunteers and coaches with disabilities.

And Tom Douglas, chief executive of Merseyside Sports Partnership, hopes his community will benefit from this new funding opportunity – which is part of our £35m investment into Birmingham 2022.

“Places and Spaces and our own strategy are focused on tackling inequalities and creating opportunities for more people to be able to access the right place at the right time in their local community,” he said.

“This fund will prioritise projects working with and engaging low-participant groups and communities of greater need, where we’ve seen there are traditionally more barriers to being active.

“In these challenging times we urge community organisations and clubs to look at this funding opportunity to raise awareness of the great work they do and how they can improve their offer to enable more people to be active in their local neighbourhoods.”

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