A project which aims to get more people in rural Northumberland playing sports has received a funding boost.
The Rural Sports Activator project, which is seeking to increase participation in the North of the county, has been awarded £94,480 from the National Lottery.
The project is the brainchild of Active Northumberland, a joint venture between charitable organisation North Country Leisure and Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure.
The partners have been awarded the money from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund.
The funding will allow them to develop a new programme designed to create more opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity, from cricket sessions at local clubs to health walks.
It will target priority areas within North Northumberland which suffer deprivation and issues associated with rurality, including Berwick, Wooler, Rothbury, Belford, Seahouses and Alnwick.
Local residents over the age of 13 years will be introduced to a variety of sporting activities at venues across their communities.
The scheme will create a full time post for a community coach, supported by casual coaches plus one apprentice position.
Additional costs of implementing the project have been met by NCL, Northumberland County Council and the Schools Funding Agency, to a total of £141,863.
Community sports manager at Active Northumberland Vic Brady said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to improve health and wellbeing by getting more people more active in the community, and we at Active Northumberland are very much looking forward to delivering this exciting new project.”
Coun Val Tyler, portfolio holder for leisure at Northumberland County Council, added: “I am absolutely delighted that funding has been secured from Sport England to introduce this new exciting project to run in North Northumberland.
“It will encourage people both in and around the area to become more active, and reap the benefits from taking part in some new and innovative activities.”
The project is one of 36 to receive a share of £5.9 million of funding to support grassroots sport and activities across the country.
The Community Sport Activation Fund allows local authorities, charities and other organisations to apply for funding for innovative projects that will get more people playing sport.
Mike Diaper, Sport England director of community sport, said: “It’s great to be working with innovative projects like Rural Sports Activator to offer people the chance to get into sport in a way that best suits them.
“The investment being made through the Community Sports Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level.”