Be part of the 2012 legacy by improving and protecting your local playing fields
Hundreds of sports playing fields across the country will be protected and improved thanks to a £10 million National Lottery fund launched today by Sport England and the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP.
Through Protecting Playing Fields, communities will be able to enhance local playing fields, or create new sports pitches. As part of the Places People Play mass participation legacy programme, the fund will help bring to life the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games for communities all over the country.
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said:
“Playing fields are the places where many young people have their first experience of sport, where sporting dreams come true and where communities come together.
“Protecting Playing Fields is about safeguarding and enhancing those spaces – and creating new, high-quality playing pitches where the next generation can enjoy sport. This is a great chance to bring the sporting legacy to life in your community.”
Hugh Robertson said:
“As part of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games we want to offer people better facilities and more opportunities to play sport. This £10 million lottery investment will help achieve that. Not only will it further protect playing fields from developers but also create new ones and improve pitches up and down the country.”
Sport England will run five £2 million Protecting Playing Fields funding rounds over the next three years. We will invest between £20,000 and £50,000 in hundreds of projects that will create, improve and protect playing fields by:
- Bringing disused playing fields back into use
- Improving the condition of pitches (e.g. levelling, drainage, reseeding)
- Buying new playing field land (not less than 0.2 hectares)
- Buying existing playing field land where there is a known threat, such as the expiry of a lease or a development proposal.
Every playing field supported by this fund will also be protected from developers for at least 25 years, creating an enduring benefit for sport.
Sport England has also entered into a partnership with Fields in Trust (FIT) to support the protection of playing fields as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge. Successful applicants to Protecting Playing Fields who accept a Deed of Dedication of their playing field in “perpetuity” will have their project details passed to FIT. This will give them the opportunity to become a Queen Elizabeth II Field as part of the programme to mark the Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.
Alison Moore-Gwyn, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust said:
“Playing fields are the building blocks of sport and play and our goal through the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is to ensure that the future of these spaces is permanently protected. Our partnership with Sport England is a great opportunity to create a legacy from 2012 that brings real benefit to our playing fields and communities.”
Protecting Playing Fields builds on the work Sport England already does to safeguard playing fields as a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting a sports playing field. Playing fields are one of the most important resources for sport in England. There are over 59,200 playing pitches at 19,236 sites in England and over half of the grass pitches (33,200) are marked out for football.
Notes to Editors
Applications for round one of Protecting Playing Fields will be accepted via Sport England’s website between 25 May 2011 and 6 July 2011. Anyone interested in applying should visit sportengland.org /funding for more details or call 08458 508 508. Sport England will also be running workshops in four cities to help potential applicants:
- Birmingham 16May (10:30 – 13:00 & 13:30 – 16:30)
- Bristol 17 May (10:30 – 13:00 & 13:30 – 16:30)
- Manchester 19 May (10:30 – 13:00 & 13:30 – 16:30)
- London 23May (10:30 – 13:00 & 13:30 – 16:30)
For more details of these events and to register attendance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sport England is focused on the delivery of a mass participation legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We invest National Lottery and Exchequer funding in organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport.
Planning applications affecting playing fields
Sport England is a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting playing fields, including applications affecting any land that has been used as a sports playing field in the last five years and any replacement of a grass pitch with a synthetic surface. Landowners, including councils, are required to consult Sport England on any proposed development that would affect or lead to the loss of a sports playing field. Sport England objects to all applications unless the developer can prove it will improve or safeguard sports provision.
Places People Play
Places People Play is a £135 million National Lottery programme being delivered by Sport England, in partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) with the backing of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the London 2012 Inspire mark.
For more information please contact the press office: Peter Dickinson on 020 7273 1800 or Amy Wright on 020 7273 1593.
The National Lottery’s investment into London 2012
The National Lottery is investing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This money is supporting the venues and infrastructure, our elite athletes as they prepare for the Games, Cultural Olympiad activities taking place across the UK, and the Games’ legacy through initiatives such as Places People Play. For more information about Lottery funding, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk
Fields in Trust
Fields in Trust is the only independent UK wide charity dedicating to protecting and improving outdoor space for sport, play and recreation. The organisation was founded in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association by King George V and currently protects of 1300 sites across the UK – more than 8500 acres.
Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is a legacy programme to mark both the Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics. It is being led by The Duke of Cambridge and aims to protect 2012 outdoor recreational spaces by 2012. The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is being supported by The FA, RFL, LTA and ECB and funded by a range of partners.
For more information please contact Helen Griffiths, Director of Communications, on 0207 427 2110.
Local Government Association
Cllr Chris White, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Culture, Tourism and Sport board, said:
"Councils know how much people value their local playing fields. With the 2012 Games just around the corner, we hope that thousands of children and young people all over the country will be inspired to get outdoors and get involved in a sport.
"At a time when councils have been faced with some very tough spending decisions, this extra money from Sport England should prove a vital helping hand to ensure local authorities can continue to provide the very best sporting facilities for families in their area."