Lottery In £5.3m Olympic Legacy Schemes Boost

A total of £5.3 million of Lottery money which helped build the Olympic Park is being reused to back grassroots sports and volunteering schemes.

The Big Lottery Fund, which is distributing the money through its Spirit of 2012 Trust, announced its first awards will back four legacy projects on Tuesday.

The Lottery money helped to build the Olympic Park for the 2012 Games

The money is being split so that £2.5m goes to the Get Set to Make a Change project, £1.5m to the Join In volunteering scheme, £1m to Society Network Foundation's project called Britain's Personal Best and £360,000 to Peddle on UK.

Lottery money was a vital part of the public funds used to build the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, and the infrastructure needed for the 2012 Games.

The deal was that the Lottery would be repaid from future returns from developments at the Park but the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in its post-Games review report earlier this month, said that current projections suggest the first payment may not be until the mid-2020s.

The BLF is putting the money upfront now as it expects to be in line to receive £40m as a first repayment from the sales at the Olympic village in 2014, a spokesman said.

This money has been earmarked for the Spirit of 2012 Trust.

Baroness Grey-Thompson, an 11-time Paralympic athletics champion and a Spirit of 2012 trustee, said: "I would like to see the fantastic spirit fostered by the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2012 continuing to build throughout the country in the years to come.

"The Games not only inspired but helped to change perceptions and further understanding of disability."

The decision was made to start backing the grassroots schemes now while the memory of London 2012 is still strong in the public's mind, the spokesman added.

The £5.3m is to help kick off a range of events in the coming months through to summer next year.

BLF chairman Peter Ainsworth said: "The aim is to accelerate and continue the changes in people's attitudes and behaviours inspired in 2012 - ensuring they continue to impact on communities and individuals across the UK.

It's hoped the legacy of London 2012 will be felt for years to come

"With the recent Public Accounts Committee report warning that the enthusiasm generated by the 70,000 London 2012 volunteers is in danger of fizzling out, we are using the money we will receive from the sale of the Olympic village to set up the 'Spirit of 2012 Trust' to ensure the volunteering spirit continues."

The £2.5m earmarked for the Get Set to Make a Change scheme is to create a network of youngsters to spearhead community improvement schemes in their neighbourhoods.

The scheme is being run by the British Olympic Foundation, the charitable arm of the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

BOA chairman Lord Coe, who was also chairman the London 2012 organising committee, said the scheme aims "to inspire young people to work in their communities" while BPA chairman Tim Reddish added "now that we have so many people engaged, it is important that we build on it".

Another £1.5m goes to the Join In Trust aimed at building on the success of the London 2012 Games Makers volunteers.

The Join In website and mobile App is to be used as a matchmaker between volunteers and where they are need in local communities across the UK.

Over 50,000 sports clubs in the UK will be linked and over 10,000 events will be held between 27 July, a year on from the start of the London 2012 Games, and 9 September.

Join In chairman Sir Charles Allen said the funding would help with plans to try and create thousands of new volunteers this summer.

With the help of Games Makers, City Ambassadors and others the scheme hopes to "change the volunteering landscape in the UK," he said.

Sustrans' Peddle On UK gets £360,000 for a cycling event which travels along many of the new walking and cycling routes on the National Cycle Network.

Celebrities, Games Makers, community groups, schools and volunteers and will raise awareness of these new routes and the benefits they bring to communities and the environment.

The £1m to Society Network Foundation for a project called Britain's Personal Best seeks to get communities involved in a challenge of their choice.

The challenges can be anything from trying to stop smoking to trying to volunteer more.

Those taking part can also receive online help to create or join a challenge to achieve a personal best, volunteer or raise funds for a local cause.

The Culture department said the lottery has an entitlement to receive £675m from land sales from the Olympic Park and this is bound by a legal agreement between the government and Mayor of London.

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