FROM Monday, cities across England will have the chance to bid to become the first ‘City of Football’.
Up to £1.6million of National Lottery funding will be invested by Sport England in the successful city to run a pilot programme that unites public, private and voluntary organisations to do whatever it takes to get more people – particularly those aged 14-25 years old – playing all forms of the grassroots game.
Phil Smith, Director of Sport, says: “Whilst the number of people playing football regularly has declined, it is still one of England’s most popular sports and the unmet demand to play is high if the offer is right. From kick-abouts in the park to 5-a-side friendlies to 11-a-side leagues, we want to find the city that wants this title more than any other, that will do whatever it takes to get more people playing the game regularly.”
Expressions of interest are invited from consortiums of local partners that are committed to working together to deliver a ‘City of Football’. Applications should demonstrate commitment at the highest level and explain why this mix of local partners can together increase the number of people playing football in their city.
Further information about how to bid will be available at www.sportengland.org from Monday 28th April. The closing date for applications is 23rd May. A shortlist of cities will then be selected to explore in more detail their potential to be the 'City of Football'.