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National Lottery Funding awarded to get more people active in Derby

Picture of a football on grass

£525,000 has been awarded to the Derby Active Through Football consortium to use football to boost the activity levels of people in areas of Derby!

An exciting new programme from Sport England, funded by the National Lottery and delivered by the Football Foundation, will support communities in Derby to get more active.

Active Through Football is providing the Derby Active Through Football consortium the funding to increase participation in football. The consortium went through a competitive process to secure the funding which was open to applications from communities who face some of the greatest inequalities to being physically active.

The project will be based in Normanton and Arboretum, two of the most challenged areas of the city. Communities are being given the opportunity to co-design, deliver and participate in physical activity based around football.

Consultation is ongoing with a wide range of community groups and representatives with a view to kicking off the five-year project in early summer.

The key aims include:

  • to increase opportunities to access physical activity in a safe and comfortable environment
  • to aid regeneration of open spaces and provide opportunities for training and development.

Developing the programme from within the community itself will allow it to be run by participants in the long-term, enhance opportunities and greatly improve accessibility.

Impacts include:

  • empowering residents to enable positive change in their communities connecting them more with football-based activities in a way that best suits their needs, and
  • residents working together with a shared interest.

Helen Britten, Co-ordinator at Community Action Derby, said:

“Normanton and Arboretum are areas of Derby where space is at a premium and people have little access to sport and physical activity. We were overwhelmed by the appetite of people to get involved. Many said this was long overdue and they are very excited to be part of it.”

Consultation with women in the communities has underlined a desire for activities including female-only football sessions and walking football. A football group for younger males has already started, with the consortium supporting the setup and registration.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said:

“There is a reason why football is followed and played by so many the world over. It brings people together and helps build connections in communities. It’s also the sport that is played the most in England and has a reach into places where our research shows activity levels are lower.

“Sport England is proud to be one of the funding partners helping to tackle these inequalities and to support more people from a variety of backgrounds to enjoy playing football and all the benefits that brings.”

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“This grant award to Derby Active Through Football is fantastic news for the local community in Derby. Football is a game for everyone - regardless of their background - and it’s only right that people across all walks of life are able to play the nation’s favourite game.

“Over the past 21 years, we have been working with local authorities up and down the country to ensure everyone has access to high quality pitches.

“Thanks to Sport England National Lottery Investment, this new project will help to transform people’s lives by developing a programme of accessible activities which will improve confidence, health and wellbeing and community cohesion in Derby, unlocking the many benefits of football for the community.”

About Active Through Football

Active Through Football is an exciting new programme from Sport England, funded by the National Lottery and delivered by the Football Foundation. The ambition of the programme is to increase activity levels and create sustained behaviour change in a Place-based approach.

£10 million of targeted revenue investment will be invested in areas successful with their Active Through Football application over the next five years, with an aim of increasing activity levels and creating lasting behaviour change in people aged 16+ from lower socio-economic groups (LSEG).

About the Football Foundation

The Premier League, the FA and Government’s Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK.  It champions and supports fair access to quality football facilities for everyone, regardless of gender, race, disability or place.

The Foundation receives money from the Premier League, The FA and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, through Sport England.  This is matched with partnership funding and awarded as grants to create outstanding grassroots facilities that enable better games and attract more players, helping to transform communities.

Since 2000, it has awarded more than 21,860 grants to improve facilities worth more than £813m – including 996 artificial grass pitches, 9,612 natural grass pitches and 1,258 changing facilities. This has attracted an additional £1bn of partnership funding – totalling over £1.8bn investment in grassroots football so far.

Through the Foundation, the Premier League, The FA, DCMS and Sport England have come together to create Local Football Facility Plans for every area in England. They identify priority projects where demand is greatest, and the impact will be strongest.  They will guide work and stimulate the action required to deliver them over the next 10 years to transform many more local facilities.

Visit for more information on the Foundation.

About Derby Active Through Football:

Derby Active Through Football is a consortium of organisations with a shared belief and passion for improving lives in challenged communities in Derby. Consortium members are Community Action Derby (lead organisation), Derbyshire FA, Derby City Council, Derby County Community Trust, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, Active Derbyshire, Community One. For more information please contact Helen Britten at

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