Calls to support grassroots sport in Yorkshire

SPORTS clubs nurturing the talent of the future could be missing out on millions of pounds as investment is funnelled to other parts of the country.

Saturday, 23rd January 2016, 6:55 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd January 2016, 6:59 am
Greg Mulholland.

New figures are said to reveal a clear North and South divide when it comes to modernising grassroots sports clubs, while Yorkshire has lagged behind for the past twenty years when it comes to National Lottery sports grants.

While the South East has had £563m handed over from the National Lottery for its clubs since 1995, Yorkshire has been awarded £376m, and falls way behind the North West, London, the East and West Midlands.

However the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said Yorkshire got a £10m grant from the Treasury for the Tour de Yorkshire, and there are a range of other funds available through Sport England for grassroots clubs. Figures obtained by Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland show that the Government’s specific Inspired Facilities fund, which pays for things like new floodlights, club house repairs and improving pitches, has handed over £20m to the South East and just £10m to Yorkshire since 2012.

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The Lib Dem MP said: “Grassroots sports is absolutely essential to our communities but these figures show the stark divide in how much is invested in Yorkshire compared to the South East.

“Yorkshire has an extremely proud sporting heritage and it cannot be right that the South East not only gets significantly more than any other UK region, but twice as much as Yorkshire. Ministers must seriously look at this divide and whether funds are being fairly distributed.”