§ 34. Mr. Favell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what support, by way of grants or other means, the Government are giving to encourage family and community involvement with football clubs.
§ Mr. Tracey
In our continuing discussions with the football authorities, we are giving very active encouragement to strengthening family and community involvement with football clubs. This will help to encourage participation in sport, it represents effective marketing for football, and in the longer term it will help to remove the threat of violence. Many clubs now have family enclosures and links with the community. Grants are available for community schemes from local authorities, the Sports Council and the Football Trust.
The Sports Council has committed nearly £3 million to the football and the community scheme since 1978, in partnership first with the Football Grounds Improvement Trust and then with the Football Trust (whose contribution has exceeded £1 million). Some clubs also receive support under the Department of Employment's community programme, administered by the Manpower Services Commission; new projects are under consideration.