DD1463 Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
04 March 2016
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This decision requests approval to commit up to £1.01m from the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme (MSLP) budget to support the delivery of eight projects that applied successfully to the Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016. 




That the Executive Director approves:

•    Expenditure of up to £0.97m in grant funding to the eight projects outlined in this paper as a contribution to the proposed recipients’ costs of achieving their objectives which support Goals 1 and 3 of ‘A Sporting Future for London’; and 
•    Expenditure of up to £0.04m for the monitoring of these projects. 



Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background


1.1     As part of the UK’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the UK made a commitment to establish a sporting legacy. In order to deliver that commitment in London, the Mayor published ‘A Sporting Future for London’ in 2009 and made £15.5m available (Phase 1) to fund the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme (MSLP), focussing investment on infrastructure development, skills and capacity building, and initiatives designed to increase participation in grassroots sports (MD385). 

1.2     Following the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, an additional £7m (Phase 2) was made available for the programme to invest from 2013, and a further £2.25m (Phase 3) from 2015, to ensure gains made in previous phases were sustained (MD1119 and MD1543). 

1.3     Investment in the MSLP is focussed on three main categories:

•    ‘Facilities’ – capital funding to support investment in community sports facilities;
•    ‘Skills and Capacity Building’ – revenue funding to build capacity in the sport and active leisure sector, including training for volunteers;
•    ‘Participation’ – revenue funding to support the expansion and growth of projects that provide opportunities for Londoners to take part in sport and stay active (including the ‘FreeSport’ small grants programme, and the ‘Make a Splash’ mobile pools initiative).  

1.4     The Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016 falls primarily under the third of these headings. 

1.5    The approach to commissioning projects and objectives of the Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016 were considered at the 18 August 2015 IPB meeting and subsequently approved by the Mayor under cover of MD1543.

Selection of Recommended Projects 

1.6    A competitive application process for the Fund was launched in September 2015. Applicants were invited to apply for grants of between £100k and £175k to support projects taking place over two years. A funding prospectus, setting out the programme’s themes, priorities, and selection criteria was produced and made available online along with the application form. 

1.7    Applicants had 6 weeks in which to apply and 33 applications were received. Applications were scored against the selection criteria set out in the prospectus. Each application was scored by two evaluators and then moderated by the Sports Team before a final process review with the Assistant Director of Health and Communities. 

1.8    The 12 applications that scored highest against the selection criteria were shortlisted and invited to present to a panel chaired by the Mayor’s Commissioner for Sport and comprising two members of the London Sport Board. Independent comments on the shortlisted applications were also provided by Interactive (the strategic lead for sport for disabled people in London) and London Sport officers, again by reference to the selection criteria. 

1.9    The 12 shortlisted applicants were interviewed and their applications were scrutinised in further detail against the scoring criteria. The resulting 11 highest scoring applications were recommended for funding by the panel (eight of which were recommended outright and any funding of the three further projects remains subject to clarification and further consideration and a further decision form will follow should they be able to satisfy the GLA’s requirements in this regard).

1.10    This paper seeks approval to fund the eight projects recommended outright by the panel. Negotiations continue with the three additional projects and a further decision form will follow should they be able to satisfy the panel’s proposed funding conditions.

Projects recommended for funding



Project Name

Funding Amount

Exercise Movement and Dance Partnership

Get into Dance


The Football League Trust

Female Fitness and Exercise (FFE)


Access Sport

BMX Legacy Programme - Women & Girls



London Expansion Project


Fight For Change

Female Contender


StreetGames UK

US Girls


London Youth

Getting Ready Girls


Crystal Palace FC Foundation

Active Eagles 40+ Health Programme





1.11    The total cost of the eight projects is £1,680,000, with the GLA contributing £970,000. £900,000 will be directed from the MSLP Phase 3 budget, approved by MD1543, with the additional £70,000 and the £40,000 for project monitoring to be directed from uncommitted MSLP Phase 2 budget, approved by MD1119.

1.12    As the proposed funding stretches into the new Mayoralty, all funding agreements to be entered into will contain a break clause enabling the GLA to terminate funding agreements by serving 30 days’ notice to the projects.


Objectives and expected outcomes

Strategic Objectives

2.1    ‘A Sporting Future for London’ set out to deliver a grassroots sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by: (i) securing a sustained increase in participation in sport and physical activity amongst Londoners, (ii) using sport to assist in tackling social problems including ill health, crime, academic underachievement and lack of community cohesion. The strategy was underpinned by four goals, two of which are of particular relevance to the Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016:

2.2    Goal 1 - Get more people active by tackling inactivity and inequality of access to sport and physical activity; and supporting local initiatives and innovative approaches to increasing participation.

2.3    Goal 3 - Build capacity and skills by recruiting, retaining and up-skilling the workforce; and supporting local sports clubs and volunteering.

Objectives of the Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016
2.4    The Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016 set out to fund the expansion of projects designed specifically with a focus on increasing regular participation in sport, with a strong focus on people who are currently classified as ‘inactive’, with all projects required to target one of two underrepresented demographic groups: women/girls and people over the age of 40 (see ‘Section 3 – Equalities comments’ for further information).

2.5    The notion of ‘expansion’ was a crucial consideration; the intention was to support established projects able to demonstrate a clear plan for growth – rather than projects simply looking to continue existing activity. In addition, projects were required to show how they will encourage participants to sustain their involvement and take part in regular sport or physical activity. With ‘regular participation’ defined as: taking part in at least one 30 minute (minimum duration) session of moderate intensity sport or physical activity per week.

Expected Outcomes

2.6    Over the two year funding term, the portfolio of eight projects is expected to deliver the following outcomes: approximately 19,000 new participants, 5,000 previously inactive participants, and 5,000 regular participants. In addition, all projects will also provide training to volunteers, and/or club development support to local delivery partners in order to aid sustainability and continuity of activity into the future. Specific targets for each project will be documented in individual funding agreements.

Project Monitoring

2.7    Objectives for each project and measures of success will be individually specified for all recipients. These will include the following indicators which will be monitored as standard:

 - the number of project participants;
 - the percentage and number of participants in each project who were previously classed as ‘inactive’ before joining the project;
 - the percentage and number of regular participants;
 - the percentage and number of disabled participants; and
 - whether agreed milestones have been met throughout delivery.

2.8     The Sports Team is currently procuring for a software monitoring package that all projects will be required to use to ensure that the data we receive is as consistent, timely and reliable as possible. 

2.9    Based on previous commissioning, we expect the cost to purchase a two year software license, including training, and IT support for the new portfolio, to be up to £40,000.


Equality comments

3.1    An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.2    Sport England research shows that rates of inactivity are significantly higher amongst women, older people, disabled people, and groups of BAME people. 

3.3    According to the most recent Sport England Active People survey (APS 8 published in January 2015), levels of participation in sport and physical activity are variable across different socio-demographic groups in London. Across all 33 London Boroughs, average figures indicate that 43% of men participate in sport at least once a week compared to 32% of women. 37% of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people participate weekly compared to 39% of people of white origin. 19% of disabled people participate weekly compared to 40% of non-disabled people. 17% of people over the age of 65 participate weekly compared to 52% of those between the age of 16 and 25. 41% of people from socio-economic groups 1 to 4 participate weekly compared to 25% from those from socio-economic groups 5-8 (based on the National Statistics Socio-economic classification system).

3.4    Projects to be funded through the Mayor’s Sports Participation Fund 2016 are required to engage with demographic groups that are traditionally less likely to participate in sport or physical exercise and all are required to target a minimum of 20% previously inactive participants.


Other considerations

Key Risks



Likelihood / Impact


Risk 1

Investment in grassroots sport from other public agencies may decline as budget cuts take effect. Potential result: the Mayor’s investment does not yield notable increases in participation but instead is only able to preserve the status quo or plug the gaps left behind by the withdrawal of funding from other sources.

Medium / High

Accept. However all funded organisations were required to provide at least 50% match-funding and demonstrate: (i) that they have clear expansion plans, (ii) that they have funding to support the continuation of existing activity, and (iii) that GLA funds and associated match funding is to be invested solely to support the expansion and growth of their initiative.

Risk 2

Funding is not used for the purpose it is intended (i.e. fraud). Potential result: reputational damage, failure to hit pre-agreed objectives.

Low / High

Across the breadth of projects commissioned to date there have been no known instances of fraud or misuse of the Mayor’s funding.

All projects are subject to performance monitoring and have to provide evidence of delivery and spend before payments can be processed. The internal audit review carried out in Autumn 2014 issued the programme with a ‘Substantial Assurance’ rating.

Risk 3

Project delivery delays. Potential result: benefits realisation and expenditure time lags.

Medium / Low

Accept but monitor closely. Allow slippage tolerance thresholds and ensure timely delivery is a condition of funding agreements. Ensure close monitoring of project progress through quarterly review meetings.


Links to Mayoral Strategies & Priorities

The subject matter of the approval sought will:
•    support delivery of Goals 1 and 3 set out in ‘A Sporting Future for London’, published in April 2009; 
•    support the aims of ‘Inclusive and Active 2’ strategy for increasing participation in sport and physical activity amongst disabled people in London; 
•    assist in meeting the objectives of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy; 
•    promote social development;
•    assist the Mayor in delivering his commitment to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Impact Assessments and Consultations

In writing ‘A Sporting Future for London’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with over 400 individuals from over 100 different groups and organisations including national governing bodies of sport, the Pro-Active Partnerships, senior representatives from local authorities and a wide variety of sports clubs and community organisations. 

The conclusions reached received broad support from all key stakeholders and reaction to the plan itself has been very positive.


Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £1.01m from the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme (MSLP) budget to support the delivery of eight projects at a cost of £0.97m as outlined in this document, and up to £0.04m for the formal monitoring of these projects. 

5.2    Revenue costs of £0.90m will be funded from the MSLP Phase 3 budget which was phased over three years from 2015-16 to 2017-18 (approved by MD1543), with the additional £0.07m and the £0.04m for project monitoring to be directed from uncommitted MSLP Phase 2 budget (approved by MD1119).


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Complete funding agreements with projects

February 2016

All projects to commence delivery

February 2016

Quarterly project monitoring meetings


All projects to complete delivery and submit end of project reports

February 2018


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