Government’s £50m Integrated Communities Strategy fund an ‘opportunity’ for sport

The government’s new Integrated Communities Strategy Green Papercould present a funding opportunity for the UK’s sports clubs.

Published by the secretary of state for communities Sajid Javid earlier this month, the green paper sets out the government’s proposals to build “strong, integrated communities where people live, work, learn and socialise together”.

The strategy is supported by £50m worth of funding, which will focus on schemes that improve community relations.

Sports clubs could be among the beneficiaries, as the strategy explicitly recognises the value of sport and recreation in bringing communities together.

It also identifies that sport and recreation can be used to reach ‘at risk’ groups in society, especially those at risk of becoming involved in antisocial behaviour and crime, as well as help integrate immigrants and refugees and promote gender equality.

The publication of the strategy was welcomed by the Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA) – which issued a statement calling for the sports sector to actively seek opportunities relating to it.

“We're highlighting the new strategy as it brings potential funding opportunities and provides the perfect opportunity to share some of the great work clubs are already doing around bringing communities together,” the SRA said in a statement.

“Sport can be a way of reaching out to people who have little engagement with other activities or public services.

“Participation in sport builds teamwork in pursuit of a common goal, improves educational behaviour and attainment, develops social skills, and provides a platform for dialogue about sensitive issues to help break down myths and barriers.”

First published by Tom Walker, 21 March 2018 on