Sport England invests in Exeter & Cranbrook

This is Active Devon’s response to the announcement by Exeter City Council of the successful bid to Sport England for the Exeter and Cranbrook Local Delivery Pilot.

Today Sport England announced that Exeter and Cranbrook is to be one of twelve places in the country selected to pilot ground breaking new approaches to tackling inactivity. Active Devon is delighted to be part of the strong team of local partners involved and we are looking forward to working with those local organisations who believe that inspiring more people to get active can achieve wide ranging benefits in our area.

Being selected as one of only twelve Pilot places is not only a huge boost to the area but a prestigious honour. As part of a rigorous assessment process, a delegation from Sport England visited Exeter and Cranbrook in October. During the visit, delegates travelled on the city’s transport infrastructure to hear about some of the challenges faced in our local communities. They learnt about some of the ground-breaking approaches to data analytics being used to find solutions and they were also invited along to local activity initiatives across the area that are proving successful at getting local residents more active, like the popular Active Mums bike rides and School Gates running groups.

”I am thrilled that the Exeter and Cranbrook Local Pilot bid has been successful” said Matt Evans, Chief Executive of Active Devon. “The bid was made possible by the commitment and collaboration of a wide range of local partners. Those partners have a strong track record of working together and we have made positive strides towards addressing the complex challenge of inactivity. But we know that, on their own, the approaches that have traditionally been employed will not be sufficient to fully tackle inactivity. The learning and investment to be provided by the Pilot gives us a unique opportunity to work together on finding those new approaches which really work.

“Active Devon looks forward to supporting the Pilot fully to ensure it is a success and really puts Exeter and Cranbrook on the map as places where being active is a part of people’s everyday lives. We are also determined to help ensure the learning from the Pilot is shared with other areas and has an impact in other areas of Devon”

Around £100 million of National Lottery funding will be allocated to the 12 successful areas over four years. During this time the city of Exeter and neighbouring Cranbrook will be building upon many of the initiatives that are already getting people of all ages more active. The partnership will be looking to work collaboratively with new partners that can support people from our most disadvantaged communities to be regularly active. With latest research showing that a quarter of the general population (11.5 million people) are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of exercise that gets them slightly out of breath each week, the clock is now ticking and bold new approaches are needed. There are certain groups such as those in lower paid jobs, women and disabled people who are disproportionately affected and the Exeter and Cranbrook partnership will be looking to address these groups in particular.

Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch announced the twelve successful pilot areas at the Local Government Associations’ Sport and Physical Activity conference in London today. And if there was any doubt that this is an innovative, roots up approach to getting completely new groups of people active, Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive said: “This is not all about sport – we’re prepared to look at wider issues like transport, childcare, how easy it is to walk or cycle – whatever that community feels is most relevant to them. The process to be appointed as a pilot area for this work was incredibly competitive, and Exeter and Cranbrook has emerged from a very strong field. I am really delighted to be working with them.’

Read Exeter City Council’s press release here