HUCKNALL sports groups are set to be given the chance to benefit from a trailblazing bid to find future Olympic and Paralympic stars.
Notts County Council says it is to become the first local authority in the UK to respond to Lord Sebastian Coe’s (pictured) plea for there to be a long-lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games.
This will take the form of a £1.9 million funding pot.
Lord Coe has warmly welcomed the decision.
At the heart of the move is added investment into grassroots sport.
The county council has also announced a funding package towards a giant video screen at the Trent Bridge cricket ground, which will help the venue secure future Ashes Tests between England and Australia.
A formal announcement by the council of an Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Fund was expected to take place at a special invitation-only reception on Tuesday night (SEE BACK PAGE).
This involved members of the Notts cricket team, including captain and former England wicketkeeper Chris Read, and local stars of Team GB, whose success at London 2012 has contributed to a recent thirst for sporting participation across the county.
Coun Mick Murphy, a Hucknall Conservative member of the council, said: “Sport groups can apply for funding up to £10,000. I hope groups in Hucknall will seize on the chance to apply for this cash.”
Lord Coe, who was chairman of the, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: “After an amazing summer of sport that inspired people across the UK we must now harness that interest and enthusiasm.
“This work, commitment and investment by Notts County Council is a fantastic example of how a legacy for London 2012 can be created at a local level.”
The £1 million Olympic and Paralympic Legacy pot would feature two streams of funding — Kick Start grants of £500-£10,000 and Game Changer grants of £10,000 to £50,000 to help local sports organisations promote sport and nurture talent to find sports stars.
A key feature of the scheme is that it will tackle social exclusion and youth crime.
The package of investment for Trent Bridge runs to £900,000 from the county council, which is half the cost of the £1.8 million worth of improvements.
The new scoreboard and video screen will guarantee £30 million of economic benefit to the county and ensure Trent Bridge hosts two Ashes tests over the next four years.
The plans will be discussed in more detail at the council’s policy meeting next Wednesday (Oct 17).
But Coun John Cottee (Con), chairman of the culture committee at county hall, said: “As a county council, we have listened and responded to Lord Coe’s plea for the nation to capitalise on an unforgettable summer of sport.
“We believe that the announcements we are making can have a lasting legacy for a golden future of sport in Nottinghamshire.”