A £248,934 funding injection will help develop sports initiatives across Lincoln over the next three years.
The successful bid of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund will address the need for more sporting opportunities in seven wards of the city where it is most needed.
City of Lincoln Council applied for the funding, along with £25,000 from Barclays Spaces for Sport, to create a new programme of opportunities.
The city council say that, currently in Lincoln, only 34.5% of people take part on at least one session of sport per week.
The funding will help the council, working in partnership with Lincoln City FC Sport and Education Trust (LCFSET), The Showroom and Positive Futures, to develop activities for young people, provide better access to sport and leisure facilities for all, and reduce anti-social behaviour.
In addition, support and training will be available for volunteers to ensure the project can be continued beyond the three years.
As part of the project, three Sport Activators will be employed, who will work together and with communities to deliver the aims across the city.
This could include traditional sports such as football, cricket and swimming, as well as taster days and multi-sport activities.
Abbey and Park will be two of the wards to benefit, as in community surveys carried out in 2013, residents identified providing activities for young people as a high priority in these areas.
Residents in both wards also highlighted that some anti-social behaviour was caused by people having nowhere to go and play sport and so were playing on the street.
The other wards targeted by the project are Moorland, Glebe, Birchwood, Minster and Castle, and the project will also aim to increase provision for target groups, including young men, families, people with disabilities and older people.
Positive Futures, part of Lincolnshire County Council, has contributed £7,500 toward the project. Lincolnshire Sport also supported the funding application.
Designed in response to local demand, the Community Sport Activation Fund allows local authorities, charities and other organisations to apply for funding for innovative projects that will get more people playing sport.
Counsillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Recreational Services and Health, said: “Taking part in some form of physical exercise, especially sport, has so many benefits it’s vital we do all we can to support people to be more active.
“This funding is fantastic news for Lincoln as it will make getting involved in sports much easier in wards of the city where residents have told us they would like more opportunities.
“Apart from the obvious health benefits, taking part in sport fosters a sense of community and makes people feel good about themselves.
“Regular low-cost weekly sports sessions at various venues, together with taster days and family fun days, will bring sport to local communities in a supportive environment.”
Mike Diaper, Sport England Director of Community Sport, said: “It’s great to be working with innovative projects like this one to offer people the chance to get into sport in a way that best suits them.
“The investment being made through the Community Sport Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level. I’m particularly pleased that more than half the funding is going into projects in deprived areas, helping more people develop a lifelong sporting habit.”