Manchester is set to take a big stride forward in getting its residents active, moving, and living longer - all thanks to national lottery players.
Sport England has awarded the city £1.5m of National Lottery funding to launch a local scheme - a Sport England Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) - to tackle physical inactivity amongst different age groups living in the city.
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of premature deaths in the UK and costs the country an estimated £7.4 billion a year. In Manchester alone the total cost of inactivity per year including absence from work is estimated to be £63.5 million.
The new funding will be used to make getting active even easier and to get even more Manchester people moving.
Working collaboratively across health, voluntary, and neighbourhood services, the LDP will target its work at getting three particular groups of people moving and active - each group having been identified as more likely to be inactive than others living in the city.
The three groups set to be targeted include young people aged 5-18 outside of school; people out of work and people in work but at risk of becoming workless; and people aged 40-60 with, or at risk of, long term conditions, specifically cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disorders.
First steps for Manchester on getting local people more active will be to talk with residents about the barriers that stop them getting involved in physical activities and what can be done to remove them.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, said: "We know that physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of premature deaths in the country and if we can do our bit, working with others, to get Manchester moving, it is going to quite literally change lives.
"We already invest heavily in sports across the city, and as a result Manchester is home to some of the best professional sports facilities you'll find anywhere, that are the envy of other cities nationally and internationally.
"What we want to do now however is find new ways to make sure all our residents can access the kind of sports and other physical activities that will help them directly to lead fitter, healthier lives.
"This new funding from Sport England is going to help us break down any barriers there might be that are stopping local people getting active, and that are unnecessarily getting in the way of better health and longer lives."
The funding secured by the council for the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot is part of a new national programme to tackle inactivity and make it easier for people in communities to access sport and other physical activities. Around £100 million of National Lottery funding will be invested in the pilot scheme nationally over the next four years to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people to access sport and physical activity.
For more information on future plans to tackle inactivity and how to get involved, or to have your say on how to overcome barriers to participation in sport or physical activities visit www.mcractive.com/get-active