Sport England

Sport England
Founded 1996 (1996)
Founder Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Type Non-departmental public body
Headquarters 21 Bloomsbury Street
London, United Kingdom
Area served
Product Funding
Key people
Nick Bitel, Chairman
Debbie Jevans CBE, Vice Chair.

Sport England is a non-departmental public body under the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Its role is to build the foundations of a community sport system by working with national governing bodies of sport, and other funded partners, to grow the number of people doing sport; sustain participation levels; and help more talented people from all diverse backgrounds excel by identifying them early, nurturing them, and helping them move up to the elite level.

Nick Bitel is the Chairman of Sport England and Debbie Jevans CBE is Vice Chair.[1][2]


Sport England was established as the English Sports Council in September 1996 as an executive non-departmental public body by Royal Charter. It began operating in 1997 as Sport England.[3] It has two statutory, functions: (1) a lottery distributor for sport; and (2) the protection of playing fields, through its role as a statutory consultee on planning applications that affect playing fields, under SI No. 1817 (1996). The funding it distributes comes from both the Treasury and the National Lottery.[4] Since 1997, it has invested over £2bn of Lottery funds and £300 million from the Exchequer into sports in England.[5]

Sport England is organised into nine regions. Following restructuring in 2009, its former Regional Sports Boards have been disbanded and regional staffing considerably reduced. Closer working with the sports national governing bodies (NGBs) is key to its new strategy to achieve its target of one million people doing more sport by 2012-13. Sport England is headquartered in Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square in London.

It is encouraging sports venues to enhance their development potential by registering under Sport England's SASP (significant areas for sport) programme as either a National or Regional centre for their particular sport.[6]

Its 'Active Places' website is designed to help the public find sports facilities anywhere in England. Searching can be through an interactive map, within a given locality or to discover more information about a known facility location.

Sport England commissioned the preparation of design advice to assist in the master planning of large residential and mixed use developments. The downloadable publication Active Design, published in 2007, aims to promote increased opportunities for people to be naturally active as part of their everyday life.


Derek Mapp resigned as Chair of Sport England on 29 November 2007 after 13 months in the post, claiming he had been forced to leave his position by James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, in a dispute over funding.[7][8] Mapp was succeeded by Michael Farrar as interim Chair from December 2007 to March 2009.[8][9] Purnell appointed Richard Lewis (former Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League) to review Sport England's funding priorities, and he was subsequently appointed Chair on 1 April 2009.[9] On 22 April 2013, Nick Bitel was appointed as new Chairman, succeeding Richard Lewis.[10]


Clubmark is an accreditation which Sport England makes available to community sports clubs which fulfil certain criteria. Its declared aims are: "Higher standards of welfare, equity, coaching and management in community sports club" and "Making sure the nation's sports club infrastructure is safer, stronger and more successful". As of April 2015 over 12,000 clubs had the Clubmark accreditation.[11]

Logo and Branding

The sport England logo is based on the 'sport for all' logo which was used from the 1970s onwards.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2015 National Lottery Good Causes Award Best Sports Project Sport England TASS Pending

See also


  1. Gibson, Owen (29 May 2013). "Nick Bitel vows to get tough in Sport England fitness drive". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  2. Gibson, Owen (27 March 2015). "Debbie Jevans stands down as England Rugby World Cup chief executive". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  3. "Triennial Review of UK Sport and Sport England" (pdf). Department for Culture, Media and Sport. September 2015. p. 25. Retrieved 22 November 2016. Sport England was established by Royal Charter in September 1996 as the English Sports Council and became fully operational as Sport England in January 1997.
  7. Bond, David (30 November 2007). "Sport England's Derek Mapp forced to quit". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  8. 1 2 "House of Commons Hansard; Vol. 487, Part 19, Col. 58W". Hansard. London: Parliament of the United Kingdom. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  9. 1 2 "Lewis named Sport England chief". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  10. "Rod Carr and Nick Bitel move in at UK Sport and Sport England". BBC Sport. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  11. "What is Clubmark?". Club Matters. Sport England. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
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