Greater Manchester has been chosen by Sport England as a pilot area to work with on an exciting new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England.

Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in 12 pilot schemes over four years, to create partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.

Latest research shows that a quarter of the general population are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week. In Greater Manchester, that figure is closer to 30%, with certain groups more affected such as people out-of-work and those with long-term conditions such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses.

Sport England and local partners in Greater Manchester want to find ways to try and remove the barriers that stop people getting active such as cost, confidence, transport and access to activities and open spaces.

There will be a focus on Children and young people aged 5 – 18 in out-of-school settings, People out-of-work, and people in work, but at risk of becoming unemployed and People aged 40 – 60 with, or at risk of, long-term conditions: specifically cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses.

Minster for Sport Tracey Crouch welcomed the news at the Local Government Associations’ Sport and Physical Activity conference in London yesterday.

Lord Peter Smith, chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the body overseeing the devolution of the £6bn health and care budget in the city region, Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio lead for Health and Social Care and Leader of Wigan Council said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Sport England to help get more people physically active across Greater Manchester. Through our shared vision and common purpose, devolution provides us with an opportunity to support people to take control of their own and their family’s health. As a city-region, we are absolutely committed to listening to people to understand more about what would help them to get active; and support people to make the changes they need to be more active every day.”

“We know that being active has enormous physical and social benefits, especially for people who go from doing nothing to doing something. Funding from Sport England will be used to improve health and wellness across Greater Manchester, building on initiatives such as the Daily Mile for children and young people in Wigan.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for Greater Manchester and it will be an enormous support to our Greater Manchester Moving ambition – to double the rate of past improvements, reaching the target of 75 per cent of people active or fairly active by 2025.”

“Our challenge of inactivity is significant, but we are building on our strengths and putting physical activity at the heart of our approach across the whole of Greater Manchester. Greater Manchester is the largest city to take part in the pilot and is the perfect place to explore how positive change can be achieved at great scale.”

“I am a big believer in physical activity because it has a positive impact on both physical and mental health. We need to encourage everyone – across all communities and ages to move more, to cycle and walk, and this is supported by our Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman. “

“Greater Manchester’s grassroots and pyramid club structure makes us the country’s leading sporting region. This welcome investment from Sport England will enable us to use that infrastructure to get our city-region active.”

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