Sport England cranks up funds effort with PA pitch

Sport England is reviewing its public affairs account as it steps up efforts to secure Government and lottery funding and communicate its initiatives.

As the government body charged with strategic leadership for sport in the country, Sport England is aiming to up the ante on a number of fronts.

According to a spokesman, it wants to emphasise its role in countering obesity through investment in sports infrastructure and communicate more effectively with stakeholders.

It is also understood that the brief will involve the body’s strategy to lobby for more funding, which comes predominantly from a combination of National Lottery grants and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Four-year incumbent AS Biss & Co will battle it out to retain the account in a seven-way pitch involving Bell Pottinger, Blue Rubicon, Citigate, GCI Political Counsel, Hill & Knowlton and LLM Communications. Pitches take place in the first half of September for a contract effective from 1 October.

At the end of July, Sport England announced it had invested a landmark £2bn in good causes lottery funding and is keen to promote its positive effects. That funding has been ploughed into 4,300 projects from leading national centres to local facilities and projects.

More recent initiatives include activeplaces.com, a £5m internet resource that informs people of their nearest sports facilities, and the Active England campaign, which has involved pumping £100m into setting up local projects, such as football pitches in community clubs.

Sport England is currently recruiting for a director of communications, who will report to chief executive Roger Draper. Kate Wallis is acting in the role at present.

The organisation is also running an anti-obesity ad campaign encouraging more participation in sport. It is fronted by an everyday family and is part of the body’s aim to get 75 per cent of the population involved in some form of regular sport or exercise by 2020.

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