Place Partnerships expanded to help those in greatest need

Posted: Tue, 7 Nov 2023 10:00

Place Partnerships expanded to help those in greatest need

Sport England have announced a major and unprecedented expansion of investment into local communities across England to ensure those in greatest need are able to be physically active.

They're extending their Place Partnerships work to help more people to be physically active by breaking down the barriers that get in the way.

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England Chief Executive, joined Sports Minister Stuart Andrew at Waterside Leisure Centre on Canvey Island – one of the places that will benefit from their new approach – to announce an overall package worth £250 million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding that builds directly on the learning generated by their local delivery pilots since 2017.

This new way of working directly supports the Government's recent Get Active strategy, which set ambitious targets of getting 2.5m more adults and one million more children active by 2030 to tackle the disparities in activity levels across society.

Why place matters

Where a person lives and the environment around them has a huge impact on how likely they are to be physically active, and that too often people in low-income communities don't have the access to the same facilities or opportunities as wealthier areas.

For example, the most active place in England has almost double the activity levels of the least active place, while a person's lifespan could vary by up to nine years depending on where they live.

Furthermore, people living in some places in England are twice as likely to have a disability or health condition than people living in other places.

If activity levels increase in these places there'll be significant benefits to the people living there.

Over the last five years, through the evaluation of the local delivery pilots and through longer-term investment in the network of 43 Active Partnerships, it's clearly seen that targeted action, built on the deep insights and understanding of the people who live and work in a place, is now creating positive lasting change.

What's been announced

That's why, over the next five years, Sport England will expand the number of places that they'll work with in this way.

They'll invest £250m of National Lottery and Exchequer funding into their place-based work, with £190m of this focused on an additional 80-100 places which have greatest need.

In addition, they'll continue to support their existing place partners to make further progress and impact in their communities.

An additional £35m will be invested to strengthen work with their existing place partnerships, with a further £25m being made available to create a Universal Offer of key tools and resources, ensuring every area of England can access support.

This significant revenue and capital investment, which is central to their Uniting the Movement strategy, builds directly on the learning generated by our LDPs since 2017.

This insight and expertise will help many more communities develop a Place-Based Systemic Approach to physical activity that reflects their unique needs, relationships and geography.

They'll target the greatest resource to areas with highest inactivity levels and other social need indicators. This is where this commitment can have the biggest impact on our key outcomes.

They'll use a range of data sources to inform this approach, including physical activity data from their Active Lives Surveys, as well as wider social data including IMD, community need and health inequalities data.

A further explanation of their analysis can be found in our 'Identifying priority places' guide below.

Their targeted investment is on top of our universal place-based support, and over the coming months they'll be developing and expanding this offer that includes leadership development, the transfer of learning and access to resources, advice and guidance for partners.

Executive Director of Place reacts

"This is an important moment in our delivery of Uniting the Movement, our long-term strategy which has tackling inequalities at its heart.

"We have shown through our local delivery pilots that this approach works.

"We will continue to work with local experts from a range of locally trusted organisations and partners in a bottom-up way to break down the barriers that prevent their community's least active members from joining in.

"We want to ensure that a wide range of local spaces where people can be active – be it a facility, park or outdoor space – are the right spaces that meet the needs of the community."

Lisa Dodd-Mayne
Executive Director of Place, Sport England

Minister's Statement

"Our new sports strategy sets out an ambitious aim to get 3.5 million more people active by 2030 and this £250 million investment from Sport England will help make that a reality.

"This targeted place-based funding gives greater access to quality activities and clubs for people of all ages in areas of the country that need it most.

"Keeping active is essential for our mental and physical health and wellbeing, so it is crucial we continue to break down barriers for people to stay fit and healthy."

Stuart Andrew
Sport Minister

(Source & Image: Sport England)

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