Leader welcomes multi-million pound Sport England boost

Published March 25, 2019 at 16:01

The leader of Rossendale Council has welcomed more good news for the borough as it was announced Pennine Lancashire is to benefit from potentially up to £10m in funding to help more people be physically active.

Last year Pennine Lancashire, which Rossendale is part of, was successful in being named as one of 12 pilot areas to work with Sports England to develop bold new approaches to build healthier, more active communities.

The pilot is called Together an Active Future and its primary aim is to increase activity levels for people with or at risk of poor mental wellbeing.

Since the announcement a lot of work has been undertaken to lay the foundations for the pilot to be successful, including identifying ways to involve those people who are more likely to be inactive and have poor mental wellbeing. A network event in December last year brought over 100 groups and organisations together to map the great activities and opportunities that already exist across Pennine Lancashire and to recognise that some of the challenge is to support more people to access these.

Sports England has announced that pilot areas will receive a minimum of £3m in Pathfinder funding to develop ‘test and learn’ initiatives. There is the possibility to unlock further funds of up to £10m if needed to scale up those initiatives that are most successful.

Councillor Alyson Barnes, Leader of the Council, said:

I am very excited to see this programme develop and I am really pleased the Council will play a key part in shaping and influencing it. This funding will benefit Rossendale for years to come by supporting our efforts to build healthier and more active communities and developing innovative ways of getting people active. The Council will work with our local leisure trust, partners such as the NHS and of course residents to make sure this funding creates a lasting legacy here.

Dr Damian Riley, Clinical Professional Lead for Together a healthier Future, the integrated health and care partnership for Pennine Lancashire said:

One of the major reasons we were successful in getting this funding is that we have very strong partnerships developed here. Our region’s local authorities, NHS bodies, general practitioners, leisure trusts and voluntary and community sector work very well together to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Not being physically active can lead to serious conditions like diabetes and poor health and wellbeing in the future. We are a very ambitious partnership and with this funding we will develop truly innovative ways of getting more people physical active which in turn will have a great benefit to their mental wellbeing. As a clinician, I am very excited about how we do things differently will transform our approach to support those from doing nothing to something.

Involving people who live and work across Pennine Lancashire is a really important part of Together an Active Future; a Pennine wide survey has been launched to better understand the barriers and opportunities across the area and to give everyone a chance to get involved and have a say.

Take the survey here.

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