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Black Country awarded £1.4m to tackle inactivity

Sport England has announced £1,441,897 of new funding for the Black Country as part of its wider investment into the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The aim of the funding is to tackle inactivity in local communities and engage underrepresented groups, such as people on lower incomes and disabled people – a core part of Sport England’s ten-year strategy, ‘Uniting the Movement’.

The National Lottery-funded investment has been awarded to the Black Country as part of a £3m Commonwealth Active Communities Fund. Active Black Country collaborated with the four local authorities alongside Black Country Together, Black Country Transport, the Black Country LEP and the Canal & River Trust.

The funding announcement for the Black Country comes as Sport England’s latest Active Lives Survey found inactivity levels in the West Midlands have worsened since the start of the pandemic, with over 100,000 more inactive adults and nearly 70,000 fewer active adults.

Sandwell Council aims to use the funding to deliver a whole host of programmes to get people more active, such as Active Travel schemes, walking and cycling programmes in the community, sporting activities which will link to the council’s Commonwealth Games activities and events programme. There will also be volunteer training and development and engagement programmes to ensure local residents continue to use the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre after the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“Fantastic news for the Black Country”

Amanda Tomlinson, Chair of the Active Black Country Board, said: “This award is fantastic news for the Black Country and will ensure we can make the most of the impact and legacy of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games for all our communities.”

Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member for culture and tourism, said: “It’s great news for Sandwell and a fantastic opportunity to work with partners across the West Midlands to deliver the Active Travel scheme during and after the and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. We will encourage local residents to get involved in the Games and utilise the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre to deliver healthier lifestyles as a direct result of hosting the Games in our region.”

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