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Sport England significantly cuts funding for NGBs

By Matthew Campelli    16 Dec 2016
Crouch said NGBs will be able to bid for further funding to address other markets

A number of national governing bodies (NGB) have had their public funding slashed as a result of Sport England shifting its focus to engaging the inactive.

The grassroots sports quango revealed the first round of its 2017-2021 funding decisions for NGBs to reach and engage their “core market”.

Just under £88m will be split between 26 governing bodies over the next four years, but several are not in line to receive even half of their 2013-2017 awards.

Awards are split into core market, talent and mass market (see table below).

Under the previous funding system, the Whole Sport Plan, NGBs were expected to have absolute oversight over participation in their sports. Now, they will mainly be responsible for retaining those who regularly take part in their sport already.

Badminton England – which is still reeling from UK Sport’s decision to completely cut its elite funding – will receive £7.25m, less than half of the £18m it gained over the previous four-year cycle.

Cycling has also lost a significant amount of funding compared to the £32m it was handed over the last four-year cycle, with £17.3m to play with over the next four years.

Around £20m of funding has also been lost by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which will have £7.6m to put towards its core market and talent pathways.

However, all governing bodies will be eligible to bid for further Sport England funding to target other types of customers, such as those who are less active, so feasibly funding pots could be increased.

The decisions will not have come as a shock to those within the sport sector. Sport England’s Towards and Active Nation strategy and the government’s Sporting Future both emphasise a shift towards tackling inactivity rather than promoting organised sport.

Last week, Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said that while the funding decisions were a bit of a departure from previous cycles, most organisations were “strongly supportive of the direction of travel", and were “rethinking” how they were doing things operationally as a result.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch said: “Participation levels are rising and we want to maintain that momentum by allowing governing bodies to bid for extra investment from Sport England for specific projects that will encourage people to get involved and bring communities together”.

In addition, Sport England has earmarked a further £3m to help sports bid for major events and involved more people in sport as a result.

Table 1

Sport England  funding  NGBs 
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