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Sport England improves facilities with lottery investment

Thirty-eight artificial grass pitches and swimming pool changing rooms are set to be overhauled thanks to nearly £10 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England.

With three quarters of people citing the quality of the pitch surface and the changing rooms as being important to their sporting experience, Sport England's new Improvement Fund is investing £9.9 million to improve these facilities for the benefit of thousands of people.

Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: "As the research shows people have a better experience of sport when the facilities are good both on and off the pitch.  These investments in artificial grass pitches and swimming pool changing rooms will have a big impact on sport in local communities."

Mansfield District Council will use £195,850 of funding to convert a disused catering area at Water Meadows Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre into additional changing rooms as well as refurbish their existing old changing rooms.

In addition, Beaufont Community School in Gloucestershire has been awarded £219,000 to refurbish the school's dilapidated swimming pool changing facilities. The pool is open for community use and plays a key role in providing affordable leisure facilities for the local area.

Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson, said: "Protecting and improving local sport facilities is an important part of the legacy from 2012. This National Lottery Improvement Fund will create thousands more sporting opportunities for communities across the country encouraging people to get active and take up sport."

Between now and 2017, Sport England will invest £45 million of lottery funding through the Improvement Fund into medium-sized projects to improve grassroots sport facilities. Changing rooms and artificial grass pitches were chosen for the first round after they were identified by Sport England as improvements that could have an immediate impact on the number of people playing sport within a community.

Other projects awarded between £150,000 and £750,000 include:

North East Lincolnshire Council

Oasis Waterpark Limited

Taunton Deane Borough Council

High Peak Borough Council

Staffordshire County Council

Bolton Community Leisure Trust

Daventry District Council

Fylde Borough Council

Hambleton District Council

Moulsham High School

Kirklees MBC

Gedling Borough Council

Derbyshire Dales District Council

Royal Borough of Kingston

Waverley Borough Council

London Borough of Islington

Beaufort Community School

Shropshire Council

Aylesbury Vale Community Trust

Mansfield District Council

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