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Over the past 15 years, some of the world’s most iconic sporting moments have taken place in the UK, cementing the country’s global reputation as a successful host of the biggest one-off and annual sporting events.
UK Sport is the government’s lead agency that has responsibility for overseeing the bidding and staging of major sporting events in the UK. We work in partnership with sporting and regional organisations to ensure that the UK hosts the world’s biggest international sporting events. Through our Major Events programme we have secured and supported over 150 events since 2010.
To ensure that the UK remains a world-leading host nation into and throughout the 2020s, UK Sport completed a strategic review in early 2016. The review concluded that while the UK had established an extremely strong reputation and hosting portfolio, the international event landscape is changing rapidly with a number of new challenges emerging. In response to the review, we will now commit future investment into international sporting events through two new funding programmes:
Pinnacle events programme
This programme aims to attract and host the biggest events in the world of sport. Events will be supported to ensure that they deliver to a world-class standard and in a way that showcases the best of the UK’s brand value’ as a host nation: Quality, Innovation, Prestige and Passion. The type of events that are eligible to be considered within this programme are World Championships in Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth sports, World Championship equivalents in Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth sports and mega events, such as multi-sport events. The objectives that will be used to prioritise investment within this programme will be closely aligned to the outcomes captured within the Government sports strategy, Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation.
Performance events programme
This programme will look to invest and support events that explicitly drive performance benefits for UK Sport supported World Class Programmes (WCPs) to enable British athletes to win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. For this programme, UK Sport will only consider events in those sports and disciplines with supported WCPs supported.
Prior to each event hosting target being developed into a bid, we work with the specific sport and host location on their detailed business plan and budget. This is reviewed internally before being proposed to the UK Sport Major Events Panel. The Major Events Panel then makes an investment recommendation to the UK Sport Board.
UK Sport invests funding from The National Lottery into major events, and is a deficit funder – meaning that we only consider investing into events that need our financial support to be staged. In addition to The National Lottery funding, UK Sport may also act as the investment vehicle through which DCMS funds major sporting events – for example the 2014 Tour de France and Rugby League World Cup 2021.
When the funding award is agreed for an event and the bid won, a dedicated UK Sport Major Events Consultant will continue to work with NGB to support the planning and delivery phases of the event, plus sit on the event’s stakeholder board.
Our Investment Guide contains more information for event partners regarding this process.