National Lottery funding will be invested through the Community Sport Activation Fund to support grassroots activity right across the country.
It is part of Sport England’s strategy to deliver a lasting sporting legacy from last year’s successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The fund will build on previous funding campaigns, which have shown that the key to success is finding out what people want from sport - and what’s stopping them from getting involved - before designing an offer that’s appealing, accessible and secures their long-term involvement.
Sport England’s chief executive, Jennie Price, launched the fund at a leisure centre in Leeds, where she was joined by local women who have got back into sport thanks to a Sport England-funded project.
She said: “We want to hear from sports groups across the country that have innovative ideas to get more people involved in sport. This fund will help us to build on the momentum of last year’s Games, by showing that sport has something for everyone, wherever you live and whatever interests you.”
Minister for Sport and Tourism Hugh Robertson said: “This £40 million fund will help further strengthen the sports legacy from London 2012. I encourage clubs, councils and sports groups across the country to put bids in and help increase the sporting opportunities for people in their local areas. We have already seen more people participating in sport since the Games and we want grassroots sport to continue to grow.”
Sport England will invest around £12.5 million in the first two rounds of the Community Sport Activation Fund, with more funding available in 2014 and 2015.
Community groups, charities and councils are among those that can bid for funding for up to three years, with grants of between £50,000 and £250,000 on offer for a wide range of projects from family-friendly activities to multi-sport sessions.