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London’s Mayor pledges £1 million to sport

CASH INJECTION: Johnson (centre)

MAYOR OF London, Boris Johnson today (November 25) announced a further £1 million of funding to boost a host of sporting facilities at clubs, playing fields and recreation grounds across London.

The cash injection for 20 different projects is the latest to be awarded from the Mayor’s £15.5 million Sports Legacy Fund, which with match funding and private sector investment now stands at over £30m.

The Mayor will reaffirm his commitment to protecting the city’s green spaces and getting more Londoners into sport with a speech this evening at the London Playing Fields Foundation Gala Dinner. He will announce a £100,000 grant to the Foundation for the redevelopment of all-weather football pitches at the Douglas Eyre Sports Centre in Waltham Forest.

Johnson said: “London’s green playing fields and recreation grounds are vital community hubs where the people of this great city can let off steam and come together through sport. We must do all we can to protect them for future generations to enjoy and a great way of ensuring this is by investing in and improving the facilities they offer.

“As we head ever closer to the Games in 2012 this latest round of funding has been carefully targeted towards projects that will help to inspire even more Londoners to try out something new to help them get fit and active.”

Playing field sites that have already benefited from the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme include Barn Elms Playing Fields in Richmond, Spikes Bridge Park in Ealing, and Kings College Playing Fields in Hillingdon.

London’s Commissioner for Sport, Kate Hoey, said: “I am hugely grateful to the Mayor for his continued backing for grassroots sport. Sports facilities, including playing fields, have not been a high enough priority for many years. In London, we are now doing all we can to ensure that this changes.”

Funding has been allocated towards a raft of other public sports facilities across the capital including:

• £44,000 to help refurbish the athletics track at Paddington Recreation Ground in Westminster,

• £48,000 towards all weather tennis courts at Croydon Recreation Ground in Bromley,

• £19,000 for a new BMX track and bike storage facilities at Mile End Park in Tower Hamlets,

• £25,000 to refurbish the disused cricket pitch at Blackheath Cricket Club in Greenwich.

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