Sport England launches its new four year strategy

Sport EnglandToday [19 May] Sport England launched its much anticipated new sport strategy, which will see a radical shake-up in the way sport is funded and delivered in England.


The new strategy takes its lead from the government’s Sporting Future strategy, released in December, which heralded a move away from simply focusing on the number of participants, to making funding decisions based on the social good that sport and physical activity can deliver. In particular, the contribution to the following five outcome areas: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development.


So what are the big changes in Sport England’s new strategy?


 The headline change is that tackling inactivity will be Sport England’s top priority. So much so, that it will triple its current investment to £250m over four years to get those who currently do little or no exercise, to be more active.


 The way Sport England works with and funds NGBs has been completely revamped. Gone is its Whole Sport Plan, which previously took up 38% of its budget and allocated money to each NGB. Instead Sport England has set aside 29% of its £1.059bn budget to fund its “core market”, from which NGBs will have to bid for funding. As they put it, …it’s what you can do that counts, not who you are.”


● Sport England will prioritise investment in demographic groups who are currently under-represented in terms of their engagement with sport and physical activity. This includes women, older people, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.


●  Its remit has been expanded to cover children from the age of five, in order to lay the foundations for being active throughout their lives.


●  In a pilot scheme, £130 million will be invested over the next four years in 10 places in England to address location-specific issues such as high inactivity, unemployment and community cohesion.


As a Sported member, what do these changes mean for you?

 With a focus on reducing inactivity and engaging under-represented groups, Sported’s members are ideally positioned to capitalise on the new opportunities presented by Sport England’s new strategy.


 To receive Sport England funding however, organisations will need to demonstrate the impact of their activities against the five outcomes and the respective KPIs of Sport England’s seven new investment programmes.


Together with Sport England’s commitment to invest more “in anything going particularly well”, effective impact measurement will become more important than ever. Those organisations that can effectively measure, prove and articulate the difference they are making, will be at a distinct advantage when it comes to securing funding.


How we can help: Many of you will have already used and, indeed, benefited from some of our impact measurement services and resources. Whether it’s using data from Sportworks to strengthen your funding applications or improving the effectiveness of your programmes. At Sported we have a fantastic array of services, resources and expertise to help you prove your impact. So if you’re just taking your first steps into the world of impact measurement and need guidance from one of our expert volunteers, or are looking to implement best practice, we have a service/resource for you! To find our more, check out this blog on impact measurement or login to Your Sported Network to download a whole host of impact measurement ‘How-to’ guides.


 Good governance will be of paramount importance for organisations, large and small. As Sport England states: “We will not, however, compromise on the basic standards of governance that will be required to receive public funding”.

How we can help: To ensure your organisation complies to best practice standards, read our ‘How-to’ guide on Governance and Compliance, downloadable by logging into Your Sported Network.


 A new Community Asset Fund will replace its Small Grants programme, offering grants of between £10,000 and £150,000, with the welcomed addition of a simplified application process. The new fund will allow applicants to apply for a revenue, as well as a capital grant in a single application.


How we can help: If you need an expert to cast their eye over a funding bid or need more long-term support developing a business plan to support your application, have you considered applying for FREE support from one of Sported’s expert volunteers? Our volunteers have expertise in a range of specialisms and are ready to help you grow your organisation. To apply for mentor or Light Touch support, please complete the quick and easy application form on the  the ‘Your Services’ page of Your Sported Network.


● The 10 locations for Sport England’s pilot investment scheme have yet to be announced, but could present exciting partnership opportunities for our members. Keep an eye on Sport England’s website and your local CSP’s website for further announcements.


To read the full Sport England strategy, please click here.