Alliance response to Spending Review

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The Sport and Recreation Alliance welcomes the Chancellor’s Spending Round 2019 announcement of a 4.1% real terms increase in budget for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2020/21. This is an outcome we had pushed for, so it is pleasing to see ministers have responded to our call.

The increase will provide additional money for Sport England to invest in grassroots and community sport and for UK Sport to support Team GB and Paralympics GB in the run up to Tokyo 2020. However, we would welcome further clarity over precisely how much of the additional money made available for 2020/21 will be allocated to Sport England.

The budget increase also includes £46m for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham which is part of the c.£600m package previously announced for the event.

We are also pleased to see extra money being invested in our schools.

While there was no specific mention of the PE and Sport Premium for primary schools, we would like to see confirmation that an allocation of the extra investment will be used to maintain the current level of funding of the Premium for a further year, which would provide certainty for schools and enable them to plan for next year.

The Chancellor’s announcement of a Youth Investment Fund, to be developed by DCMS, is also welcome news. Many of our members provide sport and recreation activities to children and young people in local communities and it’s vital that they have spaces to do so.

We hope this money will be used to invest in sport as we know the impact it can have in local communities and we are keen to work with government further on this initiative.

We also want to make sure that today’s commitments are upheld in the increasingly likely event of a General Election.

At the same time, the measures announced today cover only a one-year period and we will be turning our attention to commitments we feel should be included in the full multi-year Spending Review to take place next year.

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