The ACRE Network looking to “Up” the health activities of rural residents
by Chris Cowcher,

  • “LACE UP: Increasing Leisure Activities and Community Exercise in rural communities” is a 1 year pilot project being run by Sport England and Action with Communities in Rural England
  • Projects in Cumbria and Wiltshire are able to apply for up to £10,000 to support local health and wellbeing of rural residents and increase physical activity locally
  • Deadlines for applications are Friday 4 May 2018 and Friday 8 September 2018
"LACE UP is an exciting project and we are delighted that the ACRE Network is able to work with Sport England on this one year pilot"

Sport England and Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) are running a pilot project in 2018 which promotes cost effective physical activity, engagement in sport and healthy lifestyles in rural communities. Groups demonstrating how they will get inactive people to become more active, can apply for up to £10k in grant funding to help their activities to flourish.

The one-year pilot aims to increase Leisure Activities and Community Exercise (LACE) in rural communities. Groups are able to access one to one support to develop an application for funding. LACE UP is running in Wiltshire and Cumbria and will be led by ACRE Network members, Community First Wiltshire and Swindon, and ACTion with Communities in Cumbria. Whilst any group is eligible to apply for funding, LACE UP focusses support on projects which engage people from lower socio economic groups, women, over 55’s and disabled people – those who are traditionally less likely to participate in sporting activity.

Through working with the ACRE Network, as trusted local intermediaries, the pilot project will look at how bespoke support can help a group to develop innovative and sustainable activities which meet genuine local need. The health and wellbeing of rural residents is a national priority. It is hoped that the LACE UP project will oversee the development of activities which, if successful, could be replicated in other communities elsewhere. Case studies about the groups, the activities and the development support they received will be shared to inspire more people to get involved with or, to offer leisure activities and community exercise in their area.

There will be two tranches of funding available with the following deadlines for applications: Tranche 1 - Friday 4 May 2018 / Tranche 2- Friday 7 September 2018. For more information about the pilot project please read the ‘Guidance for Applicants’ document available for download.

Richard Quallington, Executive Director of ACRE said “LACE UP is an exciting project and we are delighted that the ACRE Network is able to work with Sport England on this one year pilot. It will be really interesting to see the variety of projects supported in Cumbria and Wiltshire and also hearing about the health benefits for local residents where these projects will operate. We look forward to learning how the LACE UP project will support a range of innovative groups, offering a chance for anyone to get involved and “Up” their participation in Leisure Activities and Community Exercise in their local area.”