Public Affairs: Hollingsworth lands policy chief role at UK Sport

UK Sport, the government body that distributes Lottery money to fund British Olympic hopefuls, has appointed former Granada PR chief Tim Hollingsworth to the new post of director of policy and communications.

Hollingsworth joins on 1 March from PR consultancy hbl media, where he has been a director since 2001. His role will be to liaise with sports bodies and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport over its funding strategy.

UK Sport this month announced the structure of its £75m funding package for the 2008 Beijing games.

This time it is concentrating funds on people deemed to have a realistic chance of bringing home a medal. The number of competitors receiving financial aid is thus being slashed from 82 to 40.

Despite the success of Kelly Holmes last year, athletics, along with judo and gymnastics are having their funds cut because their contribution to the medal tally in Athens didn't meet expectations. Rowing, equestrianism, cycling and sailing have been rewarded with more funds.

Hollingsworth will oversee a team of six and report to a to-be-appointed chief executive. Liz Nichol is currently acting in the role.

UK Sport is also expected to announce the identity of its new chairman as early as next week, with former Olympic gold medallist Steve Cram tipped to land the role.

Aside from the Olympics and Paralympics, UK Sport is the country's anti-doping body for sports.

Prior to hbl, Hollingsworth was head of corporate media relations and head of internal comms at Granada and before that spent five years as head of media relations at the CBI.

UK Sport was set up in 1997 to replace the British Sports Council.

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