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Mayor gives community sports facilities a boost with £1m cash injection

23 November 2011

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced a further £1m of funding to boost a host of sporting facilities at clubs, playing fields and recreation grounds across London.

The cash injection for 20 different projects is the latest to be awarded from the Mayor’s £15.5m Sports Legacy Fund, which with match funding and private sector investment now stands at over £30m.

The Mayor will reaffirm his commitment to protecting the city’s green spaces and getting more Londoners into sport with a speech this evening at the London Playing Fields Foundation Gala Dinner. He will announce a £100,000 grant to the Foundation for the redevelopment of all-weather football pitches at the Douglas Eyre Sports Centre in Waltham Forest.

Funding has been allocated towards a raft of other public sports facilities across the capital including: 

  • £44,000 to help refurbish the athletics track at Paddington Recreation Ground in Westminster,
  • £48,000 towards all weather tennis courts at Croydon Recreation Ground in Bromley,
  • £19,000 for a new BMX track and bike storage facilities at Mile End Park in Tower Hamlets
  • £25,000 to refurbish the disused cricket pitch at Blackheath Cricket Club in Greenwich.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London’s green playing fields and recreation grounds are vital community hubs where the people of this great city can let off steam and come together through sport. We must do all we can to protect them for future generations to enjoy and a great way of ensuring this is by investing in and improving the facilities they offer. As we head ever closer to the Games in 2012 this latest round of funding has been carefully targeted towards projects that will help to inspire even more Londoners to try out something new to help them get fit and active.”

Alex Welsh, Chief Executive, London Playing Fields Foundation, said: “Given the Mayor’s commitment to creating a healthier, more active London, The London Playing Fields Foundation is delighted to be one the beneficiaries of the his Sports Legacy fund. Sport has great power to improve our quality of life and these much needed funds will help install a new artificial pitch at Douglas Eyre Sports Centre, which will in turn play a key role in increasing and sustaining grassroots sports participation.”

Kate Hoey, London’s Commissioner for Sport, said, “I am hugely grateful to the Mayor for his continued backing for grassroots sport. Sports facilities, including playing fields, have not been a high enough priority for many years. In London, we are now doing all we can to ensure that this changes. Through programmes such as this, we are helping to ensure that Londoners have proper access to a range of good-quality, affordable sporting opportunities.”

Playing field sites that have already benefitted from the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme include Barn Elms Playing Fields in Richmond, Spikes Bridge Park in Ealing, and Kings College Playing Fields in Hillingdon.

Notes to editors

- Of the £15.5 million fund, a total of £7 million is being channelled into facilities; £3 million into training new sports coaches, volunteers and officials etc; and £5.5 million into a range of new projects and programmes aimed specifically at increasing participation amongst Londoners. These include projects from athletics and basketball to BMX and dance, as well as our innovative Make a Splash mobile pools programme that teaches at least 6000 young Londoners to swim every year.

- The Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme has focused on four main funding streams, plus the unique mobile pools programme. To date, £10.2m has been invested, with £21.3m of match funding pulled in. Of this match funding, £11.2m has come from other public sector sources and £10.1m has come from the private/charitable sectors.

In summary, the impact of investment to date is as follows: 

Mayor’s Facility Investment Programme

  • Investment in community facilities, often small, local or estate-based facilities;
  • £3.9m spent so far
  • 38 projects funded – either new facilities or refurbishment/upgrade of existing facilities
  • Capacity created for an additional 30,000 users per week
  • We will invest in approx 30 more facility projects over the next 12 months

 Mayor’s Skills Investment Programme

  • Training programme for those wishing to become coaches, volunteers, officials or for potential employees within the sport and active leisure sector
  • £1.7 spent so far
  • 5000+ training places funded (coaching, officiating, disability sport etc)
  • 25,000 volunteer hours committed to sport in London
  • All these figures to rise significantly over the next 12 months

Mayor’s Participation Programme

  • £3.8m spent to date
  • 33 projects funded – from BMX to dance to rugby
  • Some projects focus on pure participation; others use sport as a means of helping tackle specific social issues
  • Total number of beneficiaries expected to exceed 250,000; with more than 10% of these previously having been considered ‘inactive’


  • Gives out around 300 grants of up to £1500 each year to small sports clubs or community groups
  • Money to be used to provide free sports coaching sessions to Londoners
  • Each year over 17,000 Londoners receive at least 6 hours of free coaching through this programme

‘Make s Splash’ mobile pools

  • Annual cost to GLA is £350,000
  • Mobile pools are deployed in six different locations each year, for a period of approx 3 months in each location
  • Pools are staffed with teachers all day and evening, 7 days a week
  • Pools are used by schools during the weekdays and by the community outside school hours

- A Sporting Future for London' sets out the Mayor's plans to increase physical activity and sporting participation across the capital as a long lasting legacy arising from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More information about the Mayor's priorities for sport can be found at:


London Playing Fields Foundation

Douglas Eyre Sports Centre


Waltham Forest

Upgrade AGP to 3G


St Marks Church of England Primary School

St Marks School



New 3G AGP


Woodcote High School and South London Harriers

Woodcote High School



Construct new running and track and refurbish grass pitches


Feltham Community College

Feltham Community College



Refurbish two AGPs

Hockey, Rugby, Football

Hurlingham and Chelsea School

Hurlingham and Chelsea School


Hammersmith and Fulham

Refurbish gymnasium incorporating mobile boxing ring


The AHOY Centre

The AHOY Centre



Construct new building housing training facilities and classrooms


Putney Town Rowing Club

Boathouse No 2


Richmond upon Thames

Construct new boat ramp and river access


Westminster City Council

Paddington Recreation Ground



Refurbish athletics track


The Albany School

The Albany School



Refurbish six tennis court MUGA


The Parklangley Club

Croydon Recreation Ground



Convert grass tennis courts into all weather macadm tennis courts



The Radiomarathon Centre



Construct new MUGA


Blackheath Cricket Club

The Academy



Refurbish disused cricket field


Sutton Churches Tennis Club

Gander Green Lane



Replace two shale tennis courts with new all weather tennis courts


Stock Exchange Rifle Club

London Bridge


City of London

Construct three new rifle ranges and provide disabled access


London Nautical School

London Nautical School



Purchase six new boats, trailer and associated equipment


Colombo Street Community & Sports Centre




Refurbish two five-a-side 3G AGPs


OD CUACO Cricket Club

The Clubhouse



Three artifical turf practice wickets with practice nets and secure gates


London Borough of Waltham Forest

Cheyney Row Playing Fields


Waltham Forest

Refurbish existing BMX track and bike storage


London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Mile End Park


Tower Hamlets

Construct new BMX track and bike storage


South Bank Sailing Club

Towpath Embankment



Construct new boat storage