UK Sport reaction to Comprehensive Spending Review

Published 20 October 2010

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  • Settlement protects resources needed to meet performance ambitions for 2012
  • Positive impact of National Lottery increase vital to future sport funding

UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, today received its settlement in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. The four year settlement from 2011/12 to 2014/15 has seen UK Sport’s exchequer funding reduced by 28% over the period in real terms.

Liz Nicholl, UK Sport Chief Executive, said: “This settlement represents a positive outcome in difficult times. While tough, it recognises that the funding and support we give to Olympic and Paralympic sport is a crucial element of the nation’s London 2012 ambition. Ministers have been clear throughout the process that they see the continued support of sports and athletes through to London 2012 as a priority, and this reduction will not have any significant impact on our goals.

“The settlement means that, combined with the proposed changes in National Lottery distribution and the future income projected as a result, we believe we have the resources we need to fund athletes and support services through to 2012, should sports continue to justify that funding on performance grounds.
 
“For the following Rio cycle, we will see further reductions but have committed to ensuring that over the period of the spending review we do not reduce our investment in the Summer Olympic and Paralympic sports programme by more than 15%. Again we should see an increase in National Lottery funding help us to manage this. 

“No decision the Government has had to make today will have been easy, but this outcome is an acknowledgement of the success of the high performance system we are collectively developing in this country, and of the vital nature of especially the National Lottery but also private sector income such as that provided by Team 2012 to complement exchequer funds.” 

Following the announcement today, UK Sport will now embark on its Annual Review of investment across all summer Olympic and Paralympic sport, following its Investment Principles and ‘no compromise’ approach which prioritises resources towards sports and athletes with the greatest chance of succeeding on the world stage. The results of the Annual Review will be published in December.

In addition to the details of the financial settlement and the prioritisation of funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport, UK Sport has been given a number of other priorities for the coming four years. They include:

  • UK Sport to consider how to work better together with NGBs and other organisations to lever additional private sector funding into Olympic and Paralympic sport alongside public funding
  • UK Sport to work with the Home Country Sports Councils and Commonwealth Federations in the run-up to Glasgow 2014 to maximise our teams’ performances, and to consider how we could improve British performances at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics
  • UK Sport to increase the budget for World Class Events to £5m per year to support the Government’s economic growth strategy
  • UK Sport to reduce its administration cost level by 50% by the end of the Spending Review period
  • UK Sport to work with the Department and Sport England to deliver a merged organisation by the target date of 1st April 2013, including driving out administration savings through closer working in advance of the merger
  • UK Sport to work with the Department and Sport England to improve the governance of NGBs, including in the areas of equality and diversity

Liz Nicholl continued: “We appreciate that there are priorities for the Government over the next period and will work towards them. The 50% administration reduction will be challenging as we are already a very lean organisation, but we recognise the tough economic circumstances we find ourselves in and there are a range of ways we have already identified to spread this and make sure there is not undue impact on our responsibilities through to London. Included within this is the proposed coming together with Sport England in 2013, which will realise savings in particular around location.”

Zara Hyde Peters, CEO of British Triathlon, said: “As an Olympic sport, we really value the opportunity we now have to complete the job we have set out to do in London in under two years time. What it will also do is ensure that events in 2012 will leave behind a solid legacy for the future of Triathlon in the UK.”

David Faulkner, Performance Director, GB Hockey, said: “We are delighted that the momentum we have created over the last 18 months can be sustained and we will now have the support to see this particular journey through to completion in London 2012.”

David Sparkes, CEO of British Swimming, said: “Whilst we recognise that these are difficult times, we welcome the proposed increased investment from the Lottery into elite sport which will enable us to continue our planned preparations for the Olympic Games in London. Our goal there is to improve on our performance from Beijing which in itself was our best for 100 years.
 
“We will work closely with the UK Sport and DCMS to make to ensure that every penny of the investment goes towards preparing our athletes for the Games and to get value for money in everything we do.
 
“Our continued improvements have been demonstrated in Delhi, where we achieved great success with our best ever Commonwealth Games in difficult circumstances and at the European Championships in Budapest earlier in the year.”

John Derbyshire, Performance Director, RYA, said: “The Minister for Sport had told us that he would do his best to protect athlete funding in the lead up to the incredible opportunity we have in just under two years time.

“Today’s announcement has done just that and means we can continue with our plans for 2012, whilst building a solid platform for future success in 2016 and beyond. We aim to repay this investment by winning medals for Team GB plc at the London 2012 Games.”

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