Active Cumbria is among the first group of over 40 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to receive investment from its new funding model. Active Cumbria has a foundational role in the sport and physical activity sector and is therefore well placed to help level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.
Active Cumbria, part of Cumbria County Council’s Public Health Team, will receive an investment of £500,000 per year over the next 5 years of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England. Active Cumbria has been awarded long-term funding because it has committed to co-deliver change at a national and local level, to help more people enjoy the benefits of being active and playing sport.
All partner organisations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence positive change and improvement throughout the sector, their own networks, and beyond. This is the first step on a journey to revolutionise Sport England’s approach to long-term partnerships which will see it build new relationships with innovative organisations, as well with existing partners, local partners, and delivery partners to further the Uniting the Movement strategy.
Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active – like women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance, and your postcode.
The investment will enable Active Cumbria to create an additional six new roles across the organisation to support the delivery and implementation of their 5-year plan. These additional roles will increase the capacity within local communities, connecting and supporting partner organisations in the areas of Cumbria where the highest levels of health inequalities and inactivity exist.
Over £193 million is being invested for this first group, with the 43 partners including Active Cumbria receiving funding for up to five years. This new funding model from Sport England provides longer-term financial security as organisations recover and reinvent from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy aims to help everyone play sport and get active – no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background. But we know that certain groups are more likely to be inactive and need targeted support and investment. We can only innovate and tackle these inequalities effectively with collective action, recognising that this is about long-term change. Active Cumbria is one of a huge number of partners we are looking to work with on exactly this over the coming years. They play a foundational role within the sport and physical activity sector and are therefore well-placed to create the conditions for change. They will also act as a resource for other innovative organisations with the same goals as we seek to create a more equal society with everyone benefitting from sport and physical activity.”
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “We really welcome this investment which will enable Active Cumbria to provide additional support to the many partners and organisations working across the County and in particular those in areas where the highest levels of inequality exist. It will allow Active Cumbria to reach the heart of our communities creating new opportunities for people to be physically active as part of their everyday lives”.
Lorrainne Smyth, Chair of Active Cumbria Advisory Board said: “Active Cumbria have a clear role to play in helping to land the ambitions of Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy and this investment secures the resources needed to deliver our 5-year plan. The timing of the investment comes at a key period as we move confidently forwards from what has been a difficult time for the sector. Our 5-year plan demonstrates our clear focus and commitment to provide leadership for and on behalf of the physical activity sector in Cumbria”.