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Grassroots Sport: Funding

Volume 720: debated on Thursday 20 October 2022

I share hon. Members’ passion for grassroots sport, which brings communities together. I have seen that in my own community, as I am sure the hon. Gentleman has in his. It makes people happier and healthier. Since 2019 we have worked with Sport England to invest over £1.16 million in Bradford East. Last year, Sport England received almost £350 million from taxpayers and the national lottery, which we will continue to support.

The Secretary of State is absolutely right; Bradford’s grassroots football, cricket and boxing clubs are a vital support network for many of Bradford’s young people. Yet, despite the outstanding work of the volunteers who run them, many have been forced to close their doors because of Government cuts, underfunding and, frankly, lack of support. I hear her saying that over £1 million has been put into my constituency, but I have not seen the effects in our grassroots boxing, football and cricket clubs. Will she commit to ensuring that grassroots clubs get the support they need in the forthcoming sports strategy? I invite her to come to my constituency to see for herself the fantastic work done by grassroots clubs.

Either the Sports Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew), or I would be delighted to come to Bradford East. I think that £1.16 million is a substantial amount for one constituency, and I will remain committed to ensuring that we invest in grassroots sports because they are vital in bringing communities together.