A £1.7m Sports Legacy Fund set up by Nottinghamshire County Council has been praised by Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce for the economic boost it will generate.
The county council launched the fund following London 2012 to support grassroots community sport, and estimates its initial investment will generate a further £1.7m in part or match funding, and income from other sources.
Lord Sebastian Coe has hailed the scheme as a ‘great example of a local legacy fund’. Similar schemes currently appear scarce across the country although Yorkshire County Council has invested £100,000 in a legacy pot.
In Nottinghamshire, more than 180 sports clubs have benefited from grants of between £2,000 and £50,000 from Nottinghamshire County Council for equipment, capital projects and other schemes to boost sports participation and nurture talent.
Many clubs are committed to finding other funding streams to finalise their projects as part of the grant they have been successfully awarded, and many will be seeking funding from national sporting governing bodies.
Coun John Cottee, Culture Committee Chairman at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “The county council’s Sports Legacy Fund is ensuring a lasting legacy within sport in Nottinghamshire and it is good news for the economy.
“The successful grants encourage local sports clubs to press on with development plans for new buildings and equipment, and this will be a major boost for the regional economy over the coming months.”
George Cowcher, Chief Executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The money Nottinghamshire County Council is earmarking for sports projects under this scheme has to be matched by inward investment which inevitably benefits both the local community and the local economy.
“It is a positive outcome as local sporting organisations get things they desperately want or need but the council has in some cases to foot only half the bill, with the money coming from capital reserves and not its day-to-day budget.”
Coun Cottee has also revealed that sports clubs were so inspired with Nottinghamshire County Council’s Sports Legacy Fund, bids worth more than £3m were tabled after the cash pot was launched last autumn.
The council decided earlier this month to boost its initial £1m fund with a further £700,000 for the coming financial year after so many bids of real quality were lodged by the December closing date.