Thomas Bridge 16 September 2014

England names its first City of Football

A midlands hub has been named as Sport England’s first City of Football, netting £1.6m of National Lottery funding to boost local sport.

Nottingham saw off Manchester and Portsmouth in a three-way final to win the accolade, with judges praising the city’s use of its Creative Quarter to engage young people.

The city will now become a test-bed for developing innovative ways to raise participation in football, with best practice being shared across the country.

Cllr Jon Collins, Nottingham City Council leader, said: ‘This is great news for Nottingham and its people and will transform the footballing landscape in the city.

‘We will continue to bring together organisations and experts from across the city to ensure we deliver an exceptional, joined-up and creative programme, resulting in a social football revolution.’

Nottingham’s bid for the title combined key youth interests such as music, gaming, fashion, film and art.

Nigel Cooke, head of One Nottingham, said: ‘Over the next two years, we will create new football partnerships; develop new technologies; encourage more people to play, especially 14 to 25 year olds, women and girls and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds; and share our learning so that the rest of England can benefit from our insight.’

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