Skip to content

New funding to help secure Commonwealth Games legacy for West Midlands

We're investing £6.5m of National Lottery money across two funds that'll improve facilities and level up access to community sport.

17th November 2021

We’ve announced £6.5million of new funding to improve facilities and level up access to community sport across the West Midlands as part of a legacy from next summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

This new investment is made up of two funds – the Places and Spaces Fund and the Commonwealth Active Communities Fund – that aim to tackle inactivity in local communities and engage underrepresented groups, such as people on lower incomes and disabled people.

The National Lottery money is part of our wider investment of more than £30m into Birmingham 2022, and both funds are dedicated to upgrading physical activity facilities and levelling up access to community sport, as well as boosting community connections and activity levels.

A group of young cyclists listen to their coach

The investment represents a core part of our 10-year strategy, Uniting the Movement, and comes on the back of our latest Active Lives Adult Survey that found inactivity levels in the West Midlands have worsened since the start of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

There are now more than 100,000 more inactive adults and nearly 70,000 fewer active adults living in the area than before the pandemic, and this new investment is designed to help the region recover.

£3.5m Places and Spaces Fund

Launched in partnership with fundraising platform Crowdfunder UK, the Places and Spaces Fund is open to applications from community sport and physical activity groups in the West Midlands to create the local active environments needed for sport and activity.

The fund is for applicants to improve their facilities in order to bring communities together and build a long-term local legacy connected to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

We'll match up to 50% of money raised through Crowdfunder, up to a maximum of £10,000.

Apply now

£3m Commonwealth Active Communities Fund

The fund has been awarded to four places - Coventry, Solihull, Birmingham and the Black Country - to support the creation of a wide range of opportunities to help people get active in their local streets and parks.

These include cycling and walking programmes, encouraging use of the canal network, expanding volunteering opportunities and supporting social prescribing.

Tim Hollingsworth, our chief executive, said the Games represented an exciting chance to bring people together through sport and activity.

"The challenge is turning this into a legacy that has lasting impact and helps people to connect and stay active," he said. "Legacy is dependent on the creation of long-term local opportunities for people - at the right location and at the right cost.

"That is why these two new funds are so important. They are building the foundations to create change that lasts in the West Midlands - bringing communities together and getting people active in a long-term, sustainable way well beyond the 2022 Commonwealth Games."

Nicola Turner, head of legacy at Birmingham 2022, believes the Games are a wonderful opportunity to bring people back together after a hard couple of years.

"The excitement is really building now, and preparations are well underway,” she added. “The Games is just the start, we hope thousands of people and businesses in the region will enjoy long-lasting benefits.

"If Birmingham 2022 can inspire people to connect with each other, feel less lonely and lead a more active lifestyle, then we think that’s a valuable legacy from the Games.

"We are excited to be working with Sport England and supporting our communities across the region to become more active.

"Through these projects we will see people from all corners of the West Midlands being invited to join in."

These two new funds are building the foundations to create change that lasts in the West Midlands - bringing communities together and getting people active in a long-term, sustainable way well beyond the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Tim Hollingsworth

Chief executive, Sport England

The Places and Spaces Fund has been launched in collaboration with Crowdfunder UK and Jason Nuttall, programme director at, is thrilled the new fund will help more grassroots clubs access vital cash.

"In the past 12 months our partnership has worked with hundreds of grassroots clubs across the UK, supporting them to keep people healthy and happy as we begin to emerge from the pandemic," he said.

"Our platform has brought together communities and Sport England to create a unique funding mix through match-funding, fundraising expertise and campaign know-how to help drive participation in community sports.

"Now with Birmingham 2022 less than a year away, we have a fantastic opportunity to build on that success and create a meaningful legacy in the West Midlands."

Sign up to our newsletter

You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.