• Fri. May 24th, 2024

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Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough chosen to trail-blaze new ways of transforming the way sport and activity is offered in England

Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough have been chosen by Sport England as a pilot area to work with on a bold new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England.

Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in 12 pilot schemes over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.

Latest research[i] shows that a quarter of the general population (11.5 million people) are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week, with certain groups such as those in lower paid jobs, women and the disabled disproportionately affected.

Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough share a joint Public Health department, and will deliver the pilot to communities in the South Tees area.

By focusing intensely in 12 areas, Sport England and the local partners want to identify better ways to address these stubborn inequalities and break down the barriers that stop people getting active, such as poor transport, safety, cost and confidence.

It wants to encourage wider, collaborative partnerships which look at how all parts of a community can better work together to help the most inactive – from the transport links and street lighting to the quality of parks and open spaces, to how sport and activity is promoted by GPs.

For Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough, the aim is to get more people active to tackle inequality and poverty, and ultimately improve people’s quality of life. To help deliver this, key partners on the project include; Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Councils, NHS South Tees CCG, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Everyone Active; North York Moors National Park Authority; Teesside University; Coast & Country and Thirteen Housing Associations; local School Sport Partnerships; Middlesbrough Environment City; Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation; Groundwork North East; Tees Valley Sport; Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency; Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Colleges; Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency; and The Princes Trust.

Councillor Lynn Pallister, Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Welfare at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “We are delighted we have been allocated this funding which will go towards improving people’s quality of life in South Tees. Sport and physical activity removes barriers and creates opportunities across health, education and employment, and we’re very much looking forward to rolling out the project to our residents.”

Cllr Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “The project aims to tackle health inequalities in a number of ways through partnership working. We have been working for some time with Sport England to make a case for inclusion in this project so we are absolutely delighted to be named as one of the pilot areas.”

Minster for Sport Tracey Crouch welcomed the news at the Local Government Associations’ Sport and Physical Activity conference in London today, Tuesday 5 December.

Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said:

“Sport is a powerful tool that helps strengthen communities and improves physical and mental health. So it is right that we look to do all we can to encourage people to take part. Sport England will invest up to £100 million of funding, thanks to National Lottery players, to pilot innovative projects in 12 places to get more people from all backgrounds involved in sport and physical activity. We will look to replicate and scale up learning from the pilots across the country. I look forward to seeing these projects in action.”

Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive said: “We are delighted that Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough will be working with us on this ground-breaking investment. We want to get to the heart of the issues that stop people being as active as they might like to be, and work alongside every part of the community and the groups and institutions in the South Tees area that support them.

“This is not all about sport – we’re prepared to look at wider issues like transport, childcare, how easy it is to walk or cycle – whatever that community feels is most relevant to them. The process to be appointed as a pilot area for this work was incredibly competitive, and Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough have emerged from a very strong field. I am really delighted to be working with them.’