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Sport and Arts: South West

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to provide facilities for (a) sporting activity and (b) participation in the arts for young people in the South West. (253499)

The majority of Exchequer funding provided in support of these activities is channelled to local authorities via settlements from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

DCMS works with other Departments and our network of sponsored bodies (NDPBs) to set overarching objectives relating to the sectors for which we have policy responsibility in Government. Delivery of these objectives is usually the responsibility of the lead NDPB who take forward delivery of our strategic priorities at a national and local level. As follows are examples of work taken forward in the South West region:

Sporting Activity

Free Swimming

Local authorities across the South West have signed up to the Government's initiative to offer free swimming to both those aged 16 and under and over 60. The local authorities that have opted in to offer the scheme to both age groups have also received a share of a £10 million capital fund to spend on modernising or improving pool provision in time for the start of the two-year scheme in 2009. Those local authorities that will offer free swimming to both age groups also stand to benefit from a further £25 million capital challenge fund in both 2009-10 and 2010-11 to spend on improving pool provision.

5 Hours of Sport

DCMS works with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to support the delivery of the PE and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP) which will increase the quality and quantity of school and community based sport on offer and give young people more opportunities to be active. It builds on the success of the 2003 PE, School Sport and Club Links Strategy (PESSCL) for five-16 year olds.

The new 5 hour offer will deliver further Government commitments announced by the Prime Minister in 2007 and set out in PSA 22 which promises to ‘deliver a successful Olympic games and Paralympic games with a sustainable legacy and get more children and young people taking part in high quality PE and sport’.

The strategy will be delivered through the two key delivery bodies, Sport England—with its focus on sport in the community, and the Youth Sport Trust—with its network of School Sport Partnerships and focus on PE and sport in schools.

Sport England (who fund projects from Exchequer and lottery funding), have identified two projects for which funding has been provided specifically for built facilities for young people in the South West:

£136,500 granted over the last three years to Swim Torquay Limited for extension of facilities which is heavily used for swimming lessons for young people.

Falmouth Youth Club was awarded £300,000 for the Dracaena Centre in 2007 (this was a CIF award).

Young people will also benefit from funding targeted to the wider community.

In addition to built facilities, in the last five years (April 2003-to date) Sport England has invested in 216 projects in the South West. Projects which would benefit young people specifically include:

Sport Unlimited This project is in its second year and it constitutes Sport England's part of the 5 hour sport offer.

The Youth Sport Trust is delivering two hours of sport via PE in schools plus one hour of extra curricular sport.

The Step into Sport programme which amounts to £770,000 focuses on young people aged 14 to 19 started three years ago. It provides opportunities for young people to become involved in sports leadership and volunteering encouraging them to continue this into later life

Cultural Activity

Participation in the Arts

Many cultural initiatives in the South West Region are supported by Arts Council England including DAISI (Devon Arts in Schools Initiative) and The Wren Music Trust.

Find Your Talent

In February 2008 the Government announced the new £25 million Find Your Talent (FYT) pathfinder programme to trial different ways of delivering a five hour cultural offer for children and young people from 0-19.

North Somerset is one of ten Find Your Talent pathfinder areas launched in September 2008. The pathfinders, working in partnership with schools and local and national organisations over three years, will provide opportunities for children and young people to have a range of high quality arts and cultural experiences in and out of school.

Awards For All

“Awards For All” is a Lottery Grants scheme for local communities. Managed by the Big Lottery Fund, in the last five years, 5381 awards in the South West, the majority of these projects will affect young people.