Boris Johnson is making £15.5m available from London Development Agency funds to be spent on grassroots sports in the capital over the next three years.
Speaking yesterday the Mayor said: “The success of the 2012 Games must not just be judged on the regeneration benefits of the new homes, jobs and skills that will be delivered. In years to come we must be able to look back and see how we used this once in a lifetime opportunity to massively increase sporting participation and activity in the capital and consequently improved the health and well being of Londoners.”
City Hall says the funding marks the first time Major Johnson, who has previously appeared to agree with claims his predecessor used the LDA as “the Mayor’s cheque book”, has has used his powers to direct LDA spending.
The funds will “underpin” the Olympics Sports Legacy Plan being drawn up by Sports Commissioner Kate Hoey.
Ms Hoey said she was “delighted that the Mayor is taking further steps to honour his commitment to increasing participation in sport as a consequence of hosting the 2012 Games.”
Dee Doocey, a Liberal Democrat Assembly Member and Chair of the Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee, welcomed the Mayor’s announcement but warned: “to secure a real legacy the funding must be carefully prioritised and invested effectively over the long-term – not just used as an early short-term hit.”
“It is an unusual step for the Mayor to direct LDA funds and I look forward to seeing the finer details of how the money will be spent when the Mayor publishes his legacy plan for sport.”