Multi-Million Pound Boost for Greater Manchester to Help More People get Physically Active in England

  • Author

    GreaterSport
  • Date

    5th December 2017

Tags: Sport England, health, GreaterManchester, #GMMoving

  • One of 12 places selected to work on a ground-breaking new approach to tackle inactivity in communities
  • Around £100 million of National Lottery funding will be allocated to the 12 over four years
  • Encouraging partnership between a wider range of local organisations including voluntary groups, social enterprises, local authorities, faith organisations, schools, GPs and parenting groups

Greater Manchester has been chosen by Sport England as a pilot area to work with on an exciting new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England.

Around £100 million of National Lottery funding will be invested in 12 pilot schemes over four years, to create partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.

Latest research[i] shows that a quarter of the general population are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week. In Greater Manchester, that figure is closer to 30%, with certain groups more affected such as people out-of-work and those with long-term conditions such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses.

Sport England and local partners in Greater Manchester want to find ways to try and remove the barriers that stop people getting active such as cost, confidence, transport and access to activities and open spaces.

There will be a focus on:

  • Children and young people aged 5 – 18 in out-of-school settings
  • People out-of-work, and people in work, but at risk of becoming unemployed
  • People aged 40 – 60 with, or at risk of, long-term conditions: specifically cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses
  • Improving mental health and tackling inequalities

Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch welcomed the news at the Local Government Associations’ Sport and Physical Activity conference in London today, Tuesday 5 December.


Lord Peter Smith, chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership,
the body overseeing the devolution of the £6bn health and care budget in the city region, Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio lead for Health and Social Care and Leader of Wigan Council said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Sport England to help get more people physically active across Greater Manchester. Through our shared vision and common purpose, devolution provides us with an opportunity to support people to take control of their own and their family’s health. As a city-region, we are absolutely committed to listening to people to understand more about what would help them to get active; and support people to make the changes they need to be more active every day.”

“We know that being active has enormous physical and social benefits, especially for people who go from doing nothing to doing something. Funding from Sport England will be used to improve health and wellness across Greater Manchester, building on initiatives such as the Daily Mile for children and young people in Wigan.”

Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch said:

"Sport is a powerful tool that helps strengthen communities and improves physical and mental health. So it is right that we look to do all we can to encourage people to take part. Sport England will invest up to £100 million of funding, thanks to National Lottery players, to pilot innovative projects in 12 places to get more people from all backgrounds involved in sport and physical activity. We will look to replicate and scale up learning from the pilots across the country. I look forward to seeing these projects in action."

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for Greater Manchester and it will be an enormous support to our Greater Manchester Moving ambition - to double the rate of past improvements, reaching the target of 75 per cent of people active or fairly active by 2025.”

“Our challenge of inactivity is significant, but we are building on our strengths and putting physical activity at the heart of our approach across the whole of Greater Manchester. Greater Manchester is the largest city to take part in the pilot and is the perfect place to explore how positive change can be achieved at great scale.”

“I am a big believer in physical activity because it has a positive impact on both physical and mental health. We need to encourage everyone – across all communities and ages to move more, to cycle and walk, and this is supported by our Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman. “

“Greater Manchester’s grassroots and pyramid club structure makes us the country’s leading sporting region. This welcome investment from Sport England will enable us to use that infrastructure to get our city-region active.”

Councillor Jean Stretton, Leader of Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio lead for Fairness, Equalities and Cohesion:

“This is excellent news for Greater Manchester and I’m really looking forward to building on the great work already underway in places like Oldham to get more people active.

“In some communities it can be more of a challenge to stay healthy than in other areas in the country, due to complex factors in people’s lives, such as financial pressures, taking priority.

“We hope this support from Sport England will further strengthen our commitment to ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities to stay fit and physically active.”

Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester said:

“This is a significant opportunity to support our work to reduce inactivity across Greater Manchester, bringing together transport, health and other partners to support this work. I’m ready to ensure that cycling and walking are easy, appealing and safe through my work as commissioner.”

Sarah Price, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Executive Lead for Population health and Commissioning said:

“We’re committed to helping people across Greater Manchester get active, so we are thrilled to have this opportunity from the National Lottery and Sport England to do just that. Our population continues to have higher than national instances of lifestyle illnesses and we need to find new ways to support people to improve their physical, emotional and social wellbeing. Devolution is helping us as a Partnership shift our health and care system towards prevention with a focus on health and wellbeing.”

Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive said:

“We are delighted that Greater Manchester will be working with us on this ground-breaking investment. We want to get to the heart of the issues that stop people being as active as they might like to be, and work alongside every part of the community and the groups and institutions in Greater Manchester support them.

“This is not all about sport - we’re prepared to look at wider issues like transport, childcare, how easy it is to walk or cycle - whatever that community feels is most relevant to them. The process to be appointed as a pilot area for this work was incredibly competitive, and Greater Manchester has emerged from a very strong field. I am really delighted to be working with them.”

Physical inactivity data:

Levels of inactivity vary between the ten areas of Greater Manchester ranging from 22% - 33% and also across various under-represented groups:

  • More than one in three females (35%) is inactive, compared to one in four males (26%)
  • More than double the number of disabled people (56%) are inactive compared to non-disabled people (25%)
  • Levels of inactivity range from 16% between the ages of 16-25 and 49% for those aged 65 and over

Between the upper National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS SEC) 1-4 and the lower NS SEC 5-8, levels of inactivity rise from 24% to 49%[ii]


[i] Source: Sport England’s Active Lives Survey May 2016- May 2017

[ii] Source: Greater Manchester Population Health Plan 2017 – 2021