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Sport England’s funding reduction 'a cut too far’

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Sport England has spoken out against the government’s decision to lower its lottery funding to help finance the 2012 Olympics, calling it a “cut too far”.

Derek Mapp, chair of Sport England, said in a statement: “Our support for the 2012 Games is unquestioned and we know the government has had to make tough choices. However, the decision to divert a further £55.9m of Sport England’s share of lottery income between 2009 and 2012 to fund the Games is a cut too far and seriously endangers the creation of a sporting legacy.

“This cut comes on top of Sport England’s share of the already agreed £410m Olympic Lottery contribution. The real cut is in fact higher. Our target is to lever in £2 for every £1 of Sport England and we are currently levering in almost £3, so the true loss to community sport is £223m.”

Mapp said that the best case scenario would be that 186,000 less people would participate in sport, but fears the reduction will be significantly higher.

When London won the Olympic bid in 2005, Sport England was only to contribute £295m but by November last year, an extra £44m had been added. The recent increase brings the total to £395m.

Mike Catt, England’s rugby union captain, supported Mapp’s views, saying: “I am disappointed that Sport England and community sport has had to pay the price for the additional costs. This will have a real impact on the drive to get more and more people doing sport.”

The news comes as culture secretary Tessa Jowell announced to the public that the true cost of the 2012 Olympics will be around £9.3bn, four times the £2.4bn estimate given in 2005.

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Sport England has spoken out against the government’s decision to lower its lottery funding to help finance the 2012 Olympics, calling it a “cut too far”.
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