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Grass-roots Sport

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 20th January 2011.

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Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford 10:30 am, 20th January 2011

What proportion of sport governing bodies have committed to spend 30% of their broadcast income on grass-roots sports.

Photo of Hugh Robertson Hugh Robertson Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport and the Olympics)

As these are the first departmental questions since the new year, I will start by putting on the record-I am sure that I speak for all hon. Members-our congratulations to the England cricket team for their triumph in Australia this winter.

At the same time as announcing the decision on listing of sports television coverage in the summer, I challenged sports to take a hard look at what more they could do to increase the proportion of their broadcast income that they spend on their grass roots. I am delighted to say that on 22 December all six of the governing bodies that are part of the Sport and Recreation Alliance's voluntary code committed to ensure that at least 30% of the net revenues from their UK broadcasting rights are reinvested. In total, that means that at least £250 million a year will go to grass-roots sport.

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply, which is welcome news for sport, and I am sure that we all congratulate him on what he is doing. Can he confirm that, together with reforms to the national lottery, that will mean that funding going to grass-roots sports will be higher at the end of this Parliament than it was under the previous Labour Government?

Photo of Hugh Robertson Hugh Robertson Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport and the Olympics)

That is indeed correct. Sport England will experience a small dip next year, but after that the lottery reforms kick in and its income will be up by 14% at the end of this comprehensive spending review period.

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Conservative, Watford

At the end of November, the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend Mr Vaizey, announced that he was setting up a UK film forum to plot the progress of UK film industry funding. Can the Minister for Sport and the Olympics inform the House whether the forum has met and what progress has been made?

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Conservative, Watford

The point is that it is a form of sport for me.

Photo of Hugh Robertson Hugh Robertson Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport and the Olympics)

It is probably safest to say that that is a very helpful suggestion and I will look at it.