Pendle has landed a share of a huge National Lottery windfall.
And now thousands of people across the borough who could suffer from serious illness or mental health issues have been thrown a lifeline this week.
A consortium led by Pendle Leisure Trust and Pendle Council has been successful in obtaining a share of a new £100m funding pot to help people achieve healthier lifestyles.
Pennine Lancashire, including Pendle, has been chosen by Sport England as one of 12 pilot areas to work on a bold new approach to build healthier, more active communities across England.
The huge National Lottery funding pot will be invested in the pilot schemes over four years.
The scheme will strive to create innovative partnerships which will make it easier for people to access sport and physical activity.
The schemes will also encourage a better collaboration between a wider range of local organisations, including voluntary groups, social enterprises, local authorities, faith organisations, schools, doctors and parenting groups.Pendle Leisure Trust’s Chief Executive, Alison Goode, said: “We are delighted that Pennine Lancashire has been chosen as one of the Local Delivery Pilots.
“This is brilliant news not only for Pendle and Pennine Lancashire, but for us as a Trust as well, in that we will play a key role in mapping and delivering this pilot scheme, meaning that over the coming years we can work together to help inspire people to become more active in new ways that suit them.”
Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, added: “I’m delighted that the efforts of Pendle Council and Pendle Leisure Trust have resulted in this funding. We will all look forward to working together across Pendle to achieve better health outcomes for local people.”
The 12 locations for pilot schemes were chosen following a rigorous selection process with Sport England partners and include Greater Manchester, Doncaster, Essex, Bradford and Birmingham and Solihull.
The Pennine Lancashire pilot area covers a population of 534,600 from the boroughs of Pendle, Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, the Ribble Valley and Rossendale.
Across Pennine Lancashire there are more than 100,000 people who are physically inactive, increasing the chance they will suffer from a serious illness and mental health issues.
Chief Executive of Pendle Council, Dean Langton, added: “This is excellent news for Pennine Lancashire and especially for Pendle. This pilot scheme will encourage a collaboration partnership which will look at all parts of our
community and see how we can work together to help inspire the most inactive to become more active.”
By focusing intensely in 12 areas, Sport England and the local partners want to identify better ways to address these stubborn inequalities and break down the barriers that stop people getting active, such as poor transport, safety, cost and confidence.
Team Pennine Lancashire will be looking to understand the things which lie behind physical inactivity and develop projects and programmes to really support people to develop an active life in an active community with active family and friends; focusing on people with poor mental health, but also the communities they live in, the places they go to, the way they get around and the people they meet.
Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that Pennine Lancashire will be working with us on this ground-breaking investment. We want to get to the heart of the issues that stop people being as active as they might like to be.”