Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has voiced his delight that the Ribble Valley will be included in a brand new National Lottery-funded Sport England project which has been secured in pennine Lancashire.
A total of twelve places have been selected by Sport England to work together with local partners on a bold new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England. Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in the pilot schemes over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said:
“It is absolutely fantastic news that the Ribble Valley will be included in Sport England’s new projects, I am thrilled. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Britain is climbing up the obesity league table, with around 1 in 4 adults clinically obese. This is why it is absolutely crucial to tackle these issues head-on, and I am confident the partnerships formed in these pilot schemes will significantly increase community access to sport and exercise.”
Research has shown that a quarter of the general population, or 11.5 million people, are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week. Certain groups such as those in lower paid jobs, women and the disabled disproportionately affected – Sport England’s pilot schemes aim to directly alleviate these issues and increase access.
On this point, Mr Evans commended Sport England’s strategy:
“Sport England’s strategy of identifying better ways to address inequalities and remove the stubborn barriers that are preventing people from being active and healthy – barriers such as poor transport, cost and confidence. Living in the Ribble Valley for over 25 years, I can wholly appreciate how these difficulties prevent people from partaking in exercise, particularly the problems faced with unreliable and irregular public transport.”
Sport England will work closely alongside each place to devise a bespoke approach based on the unique needs of the local communities. Each place is likely to have its own solutions and will have the support of a Sport England team.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch MP, made the announcement on Tuesday 5th December at the Local Government Association Physical Activity and Sport Conference.