Norfolk & Suffolk: Olympic Legacy

With just over a week to go until the start of the Olympics - Heart's been finding out more about what's being done in Suffolk and Norfolk after it's finished.

A special fund has been set up to give sports clubs in the region money to make improvements and promote sports.

40 community sports projects in the East will benefit from a £1,779,768 legacy windfall from the Inspired Facilities Olympic legacy fund

Sport England is also inviting more East of England sports clubs to bid for the next £10 million in its Inspired Facilities Programme.

Some of the clubs which have received funding include:

Basketball players in Ipswich who have to train and play at nine different facilities are finally to get a permanent home thanks to Olympic legacy funding from Sport England's Inspired Facilities Fund.

£22,875 of National Lottery funding will enable Copleston High School in Suffolk to install a sprung floor in its sports hall which will now host Ipswich Basketball Club as well as providing better facilities for the school's 1,800 pupils.

The project is one of 40 across the East of England celebrating today after being offered investment from the Inspired Facilities Fund - part of the Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across England. All the facilities will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark - celebrating the link to the Games.

Sport England's Chair, Richard Lewis, said: "It is fantastic to be giving sports clubs in the East even more reasons to celebrate. Thanks to these investments, many thousands of people can look forward to first-class sports facilities on their doorstep."

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.

Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said: "Hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games give us an opportunity to put sport in the spotlight and encourage more people to participate. That's exactly what Places People Play is about. It's already having a positive impact on grassroots sport in communities up and down the country and the additional £15 million will spread that further, helping to leave a real sports legacy long after the Games."

The investments in the East include:

£50,000 to help Horsford Cricket Club in Norfolk to redevelop its clubhouse, providing better facilities for the club's thriving junior section.

£50,000 to North Walsham Rugby Club in Norfolk to support the complete refurbishment of the changing and showering area which no longer meets the needs of the Club's teams and users.

A number of projects that are benefiting disadvantaged young people have been awarded additional funding from Sport England's partner for Inspired Facilities, the Thomas Cook's Children's Charity. Among them is Bury Spectrum Gymnastics Club, which is receiving £12,000 for new gymnastics equipment, as well as £50,000 from the legacy fund.

Suzanne Ambrose From Bury Spectrum Gymnastics Club Speaks To Heart's Holly Jones

LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe, said: "This is a fantastic funding project that will deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games. It will provide a whole range of sporting opportunities for young people through improved facilities and will I hope inspire them to take up sport."

Bids to the next round of Inspired Facilities will be accepted between 23 July and 17 September. Full details of the fund and how to apply can be found at www.sportengland.org/inspired.

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