Sport England has awarded Greater Manchester £10m National Lottery funding, having chosen the region as a pilot area to make getting active even easier.
This huge investment to get 75% of people in Greater Manchester to move more in their daily lives was announced when the Greater Manchester Heath and Care Board met at Trafford Town Hall on Friday 13 July.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham; the Chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Lord Peter Smith; Sport England’s, Justine Blomeley and others donned their trainers for today’s funding announcement.
Details of how all ten areas of Greater Manchester can access funding will be made available next week. Money will be shared to help people move more and get fit, building on momentum from last summer’s launch of Greater Manchester Moving; the area’s ambitious plan to get everybody moving.
Greater Manchester is one of 12 places chosen by Sport England to work with on a new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England. Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in the pilot scheme over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.
In addition to the Sport England funding, an extra £2m from the region’s devolved health body was granted to help make Greater Manchester the country’s first walking city-region. Public sector organisations have been urging nurseries, schools, universities and work places to adopt the Daily Mile – a free and fun initiative where children and adults run, jog or walk for fifteen minutes every day.
In a further move to make it as easy as possible for people to keep active, a reciprocal agreement has been revealed by GM Active, a collective of 12 leisure and community organisations from across Greater Manchester, meaning all leisure centre members will soon be able to use any of the 87 venues across the entire region without needing separate membership.
Across Greater Manchester, the amount of people who are inactive varies from 32.5% in Wigan, to 18.3% in Stockport, compared to an England average of 25.6%. Citizens aged 40 – 60, people out-of-work, children and young people outside of school and those with long-term health conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory problems are more likely to be inactive.
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of premature deaths in the UK and costs the country an estimated £7.4 billion a year.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “My goal is to make Greater Manchester the most active city-region in the UK. Today’s funding announcement shows that real funding is supporting our drive and we are grateful to Sport England in particular for backing our ambition.”
“Here in Greater Manchester, enabling more active lives is at the heart of our ambition. Through devolution we have a great opportunity to make real change, and I am passionate about the physical and mental health benefits that exercise can provide.”
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Greater Manchester to be involved in Sport England’s new national programme to tackle inactivity, and the £10m investment for the Local Delivery Pilot will strengthen our strategy to get Greater Manchester moving.”
“We have already made good progress in the city-region but need to break down the barriers that stop people getting active. Today’s announcements, aligned with the ambitions of the Greater Manchester Strategy, GM Moving, Chris Boardman’s Made to Move efforts and our commitment to the Daily Mile, I am confident that we can secure the fastest and greatest improvement to the health wealth and wellbeing of the 2.8 million people in Greater Manchester.”
Sarah Price, Director of Population Health for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Whether trying an activity for the first time, or just going for a walk or kick about with your mates, being active makes a huge difference to quality of life. This funding boost will help us support our ambitions to make it as easy as possible for people to start and keep active.”
“Through devolution, we want to do everything we can to listen and work with local people and communities to better understand the challenges and barriers they face to being active and work together to remove these.”