HC Deb 23 January 2003 vol 398 c440W
Nick Harvey

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to enable greater community access to school and local authority sports facilities and equipment; and if she will make a statement. [89994]

Mr. Caborn

As part of its £1 billion commitment to investment in sport and physical activity, the Government are allocating £750 million across the UK—including £581 million in England—from the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) to support projects designed to bring a step change in the provision of sporting facilities for young people and for the wider community. This funding has been provisionally allocated to local education authority areas, and each LEA was invited to be the lead organisation for its area and work with schools and other partners, including community organisations, to determine the priorities for spend in their areas and submit a balanced portfolio of projects. Initial revenue funding is being made available from the allocations to support the development and promotion of the facilities for wider community use. Space for Sport and Arts, a joint DCMS-DfES initiative providing £130 million towards creating new, and rebuilding existing, primary schools, is also paying particular attention to developing facilities that can also be used by the community out of school hours.

Local authorities are key providers of sport and recreation and play a central role in the delivery of sport in and for the community. The majority of local authorities continue to recognise good value for money represented by spending on sport and recreation for people of all ages in the communities they serve, and they have made considerable progress in investing in quality sports facilities after so many years of neglect in that area. This Government have embarked on an unprecedented investment in sport and recreation across the board, and has to date, through the National Lottery, invested over £660 million into improving local authority sports facilities in England.

Forward to