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County Durham Sport Investment Announcement

by | Mar 10, 2022 | News

County Durham Sport is among the first group of over 40 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to receive funding from its new funding model. County Durham Sport 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.

County Durham Sport will receive an investment of £2.6million of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England. County Durham Sport 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 playing sport and being active.

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.

County Durham Sport are delighted to be one of the first system partners in England to benefit from Sport England’s new funding aimed at Uniting the Movement and transforming lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

In County Durham, 30 per cent of the population are considered inactive (in relation to CMO guidelines) and this long-term funding will ensure we can, as part of the Active Partnership Network, address the inequalities that prevent participation in an active lifestyle.

County Durham has a high number of left behind neighbourhoods (Report from the All Party Parliamentary Group 2022 ‘Overcoming Health Inequalities in LBNs) and local authority spending has reduced over the last 10 years by £400 per person due to austerity.

Together with partners in Durham County Council, Durham University and across the third sector, County Durham Sport is removing the barriers to moving through place based and system working.

Over £193 million is being invested for this first group, with the 43 partners including County Durham Sport 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. County Durham Sport 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.”

Maxine Rhodes, Managing Director of County Durham Sport said:This is fantastic news and testament to the hard work of our team and partnerships on the ground. This long-term approach and substantial funding will be used to benefit communities across County Durham and will enable us to have greater impact. Our evidence based, physical literacy informed approach is already adding value- our Skip into Spring which is due to begin in May has already engaged with over 9000 children.”

More information about County Durham Sport can be found at