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Regeneration (Sports)

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the role of sport and sport-related activities in achieving regeneration; and if she will make a statement. [122834]

The Government fully recognises the important role that sport can play in the regeneration of both urban and rural areas and in addressing a whole range of social issues such as better health, reduced crime and social inclusion. In particular the Policy Directions issued to Sport England in respect of the distribution of the Lottery Sports Fund require it, in deciding applications for funding, to have regard the scope for reducing economic and social deprivation, the need to promote access to sport for people from all sections of society and the need to further the objectives of sustainable development taking into account social and community progress and employment opportunities created by sports projects. Since 1995 Sport England has awarded over £1.5 billion of Lottery funding. Sport England has also introduced a number of other specific initiatives aimed at the regeneration of deprived areas, such as Sport Action Zones.In addition, our analysis of the costs and benefits of hosting the Olympic Games in London in 2012 has included an assessment of the regeneration benefits achieved by past host cities and also the significant regeneration benefits for Manchester as a result of staging the Commonwealth Games in 2002.