Less Than One Year To Go and Legacy Work Gains Momentum
With less than a year to go to the London 2012 Olympic Games, Sport England’s work to build a legacy of increased mass participation continues.
This weekend, local residents were given their first glimpse of our first Iconic Facility as Manchester’s brand new £24m National BMX Centre, held an open day for the community before its official opening later this year.
Sport England has invested £3 million of Lottery money into the 110,000 square foot centre which will host major BMX events and act as a training venue for top riders in the run up to London 2012.
But it’s not just for elite riders. Manchester schoolchildren will have access to the track and keen local cyclists will be able to take part in pay-and-ride sessions in evenings and at the weekend.
Part of Places People Play, the Iconic Facilities programme is investing in a small number of strategic multi-sport facility projects that are regionally significant for at least two sports and that can demonstrate long-term financial viability.
While at the opposite end of the scale, Inspired Facilities, also part of Places People Play, will award up to 1,000 grants worth between £20,000 and £50,000 to sports clubs and community groups, is now open to receive applications
A series of 35 workshops attended by 1900 organisations have been held across the country in the last three weeks, demonstrating the huge interest in this programme which is focused on making it much easier to apply for facility funding.
“Our drive to deliver a mass participation legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is transforming the places where people play sport,” says Sport England Chair, Richard Lewis. “The new BMX arena will be both a world-class venue for elite athletes and a sustainable local sporting facility for cyclists of all ages and abilities, while our Inspired Facilities programme will help us direct investment into sport’s grassroots.”
Places People Play is a £135m initiative designed to bring the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into the heart of local communities. In addition to our existing investment into 46 national governing bodies of sport, this programme is helping us to ensure the needs of community sport – and the opportunities to play - are being through wise investment and the promotion of best practice.
It sits alongside our £51m investment into three of the Games’ purpose-built venues – the Aquatics Centre, Velopark and the Lee Valley White Water Centre. Our funding and expertise is helping to ensure these venues not only perform during the Games but long after the last medal is won when they are open to the community.