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MP Rory Stewart spent Saturday morning at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, where he spent time with staff and students, and even played a round of badminton, before presenting the school with its cheque for £120,000 of Olympic legacy funding that has been obtained from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund.
The Inspired Facilities fund is part of the £135 million Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games. The funding will allow the completion of the second phase of the community sports hall project. The main sports hall was completed in July 2011. However, pupils and local users were unable to access any toilets, showers or changing rooms, and the first floor community function rooms were not completed due to insufficient funding at the time. The Inspired Facilities funding has allowed Phase 2 to be completed, making the sports hall a fully functioning facility which will increase participation by pupils and community groups.
Rory Stewart MP said: "It has been an honour to be here today, and it's absolutely fantastic news - and I couldn't be more pleased, knowing how much hard work has gone into obtaining funding - that the sports hall will be completed so soon, allowing the facilities to grow and benefit not only the pupils and staff at KSGS, but the surrounding community as well. This is the year to celebrate sport and its ability to bring communities together, and I am delighted that KSGS's commitment to sport and the community - and indeed its hard work in getting the sports hall to this stage - has been recognised in this way."
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This investment will create will be a fantastic sporting legacy for Kirkby Stephen. This fund has really hit the mark with sports clubs in Cumbria. It shows we’re offering the legacy that people want for their local community. For hundreds of clubs and tens of thousands of people, 2012 will be the year their local sports facilities got better.”
David Keetley, KSGS Headteacher, said: “We are delighted to secure the Inspired Facilities grant, which has finally enabled us to upgrade our sports hall. It is only right that Kirkby Stephen, with its long tradition of sport clubs and sporting success, should have a first-class facility, part-funded by the Olympic legacy. As a school, we have now raised some £720,000 to build this fantastic facility.”
One particular beneficiary of the new facility is the Eden Valley Sports Partnership which is based at the school and will move into a new office in the Sports Hall. One day a week will be given over to Partnership activities which mainly include local primary school pupils across the Eden Valley, as well as secondary sports leaders.
The project is one of 350 local community sports groups who have been offered a total of £17.4 million in Olympic legacy funding through the Inspired Facilities Fund. The investments will breathe new life into tired facilities that can be unattractive to sports participants, difficult to maintain and run. Grants have also been offered to convert existing buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport and to allow local clubs to buy the facilities they use.
Photo attached: Local MP Rory Stewart at the presentation of the Sport England cheque to Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, seen here with Head Teacher David Keetley, members of the Board of Governors and some of the school's pupils