£7 million for Integrated Communities Innovation Fund

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has launched a new £7 million fund to support trailblazing approaches to building more integrated communities across the country.

The Integrated Communities Innovation Fund seeks to tackle the key causes of poor integration and support similar trailblazing projects that will share their learning more widely, allowing other areas to develop proven approaches to tackling the key causes of poor integration.

The fund will complement the government’s ongoing work to develop ambitious local integration plans with five integration areas across England. The local authorities, in Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Peterborough, Walsall and Waltham Forest, have demonstrated a keen grasp of the challenges they face and shown a desire to try new things and learn from what works.

Sport England is contributing to the new Integrated Communities Innovation Fund to support the use of sport and physical activity to encourage integration.

Brokenshire said: “Britain is on the whole a well integrated society, but we have been clear that we need to tackle the persistent challenges of integration in some communities across the country. The trailblazing projects supported by the fund announced today will drive forward our work to bring all levels of society together, from business leaders to grassroots charities, to tackle the key causes of poor integration.”

Jennie Price, CEO of Sport England, added: “I’m very pleased that Sport England is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to achieve our shared objective of improving integration to strengthen communities. We believe sport and physical activity is a powerful way of bringing together people from all backgrounds and strengthening the bonds between them.”

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