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£30m Sport England boost for grassroots football

Almost £0.5 billion invested in grassroots sport to keep London 2012 inspiration alive

Sport England will invest £30m into grassroots football over the next four years, it has been announced.

The funding for 2013-17 – which represents a 17.2% increase on the previous four years – is a reward for the Football Association’s progress and future plans to get more people playing the game.

The FA will target an increase in the number of 14-19-year-olds playing football in England, whilst developing the next generation of talented disabled and female players through a greater emphasis on coach development and competition.

The boost comes as part of a Sport England investment in grassroots sport of £493 million pounds over the next four years. 46 sports will receive funding to get more people taking part, with 31 sports receiving their largest ever grassroots investment.

“We are delighted that Sport England has shown such strong support for our partnership and our joint work to deliver growth in grassroots football participation,” FA General Secretary Alex Horne told TheFA.com.

“Our National Game Strategy provides a clear plan for the improvement and growth of the grassroots game and this award will go a long way in complementing our own funding and that of our commercial partners in ensuring its delivery.

“This announcement is great news in particular for our work in encouraging participation amongst 14-19 year olds and will be a real boost to our existing interventions and investment across boys, girls and disability football.”

The FA will receive the second highest amount to be awarded to any sport, behind only cycling, which will receive £32m of funding over the next four years.

Sport England’s Director of Sport Phil Smith said: “Our £30m investment into football reflects our ambition to get even more people enjoying the game.

“The targeted approach to get more young people playing will ensure that football remains a lifelong sport of choice for many, while high-quality facilities and improved coaching will help get more disabled people and women enjoying the sport.”

At least 60 per cent of the investment announced by Sport England this week will support young people aged between 14 and 25.

Cycling, netball, wheelchair basketball and triathlon all received funding increases of over 30% as a reward for their strong plans and excellent progress on grassroots sport.

Each of the 46 sports awarded funding will be subject to tough performance management through a ‘payment for results’ approach that will see Sport England rewarding success and penalising failure.

Cricket, tennis, swimming, rugby league and rugby union are among those to have their funding cut.

View the full sport-by-sport breakdown of Sport England funding for 2013-17.

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