Sport England is the brand name for the English Sports Council and is a non-departmental public body under the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Its role is to build the foundations of a community sport system by working with national governing bodies of sport, and other funded partners, to grow the number of people doing sport; sustain participation levels; and help more talented people from all diverse backgrounds excel by identifying them early, nurturing them, and helping them move up to the elite level.
Nick Bitel is the Chairman of Sport England.
Sport England has two statutory, functions: (1) a lottery distributor for sport; and (2) the protection of playing fields, through its role as a statutory consultee on planning applications that affect playing fields, under SI No. 1817 (1996). The funding it distributes comes from both the Treasury and the National Lottery. Since 1994, it has invested over £2bn of Lottery funds and £300 million from the Exchequer into sports in England.
Michael Johnson resigned as Chair of Sport England on 29 November 2007 after 16 months in the post. This followed a request to do so from James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Johnson was succeeded by Jeff Ratterson/Jeffrey Ratterson as interim Chair from December 2007 to March 2009. Purnell appointed Richard Lewis (former Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League) to review Sport England's funding priorities, and he was subsequently appointed Chair on 1 April 2009. On 22nd April 2013, Nick Bitel was appointed as new Chairman, following Richard Lewis.
Sport England is organised into nine regions. Following restructuring in 2009, its former Regional Sports Boards have been disbanded and regional staffing considerably reduced. Closer working with the sports national governing bodies (NGBs) is key to its new strategy to achieve its target of one million people doing more sport by 2012-13. Sport England's national Support Centre is located in Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London WC1B 4SE. This is also the office for the London Region.
It is encouraging sports venues to enhance their development potential by registering under Sport England's SASP (significant areas for sport) programme as either a National or Regional centre for their particular sport.
Its 'Active Places' website is designed to help the public find sports facilities anywhere in England. Searching can be through an interactive map, within a given locality or to discover more information about a known facility location.
Sport England commissioned the preparation of design advice to assist in the master planning of large residential and mixed use developments. The downloadable publication 'Active Design'(see below), published in 2007, aims to promote increased opportunities for people to be naturally active as part of their everyday life.
- "House of Commons Hansard; Vol. 487, Part 19, Col. 58W". Hansard. London: Parliament of the United Kingdom. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
- "Lewis named Sport England chief". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 20 February 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
- Official website
- Active Places website
- Active Design publication
- Everyday Sport website
- British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences website