Westminster Media Forum

The future for sports funding in the UK - grassroots, commercial revenue streams, and the future elite funding strategy

Morning, Tuesday, 30th April 2019

Central London


Following the publication of UK Sport’s new strategy on the long term funding of elite sport, this timely conference will assess the future funding landscape for sport in the UK.

It will look at public funding at both elite and grassroots levels, as well as potential opportunities for sports to diversify their funding sources and develop new revenue streams.

Delegates will consider the new funding strategy, coming into effect from April 2021, which includes the introduction of a new ‘progression funding’ tier to allow sports that do not have medal-winning prospects the chance to receive UK Sport funding.

Those attending will also look at priorities for the funding of elite sport in the short- to medium-term.

It follows the Government’s announcement of a £3m Aspiration Fund for Olympic and Paralympic sports outside of the World Class Programme, lasting until the end of the 2020 Olympic cycle.

Discussion will focus on the framework for future public funding allocations, as well as opportunities for attracting greater private investment and diversifying revenue streams, utilising assets, and tapping into opportunities around rights, broadcasting and sponsorship.

Further sessions will examine the impact of a multi-sectoral, ‘whole-systems’ approach to addressing inactivity and delivering wider social and public health outcomes from investment in grassroots sport, following the publication of the Civil Society Strategy, as well as Sport England’s recent announcement of a further £16m in funding across a number of governing bodies.

Attendees will consider further issues around maximising the social impact of funding - including measuring returns, community engagement and challenges around cross-departmental working.

We also expect discussion on priorities for developing closer links between elite and grassroots sport, including the talent pipeline and issues around transitioning from a grassroots setting to elite programmes. Delegates will also consider the extent to which governing bodies should be supporting and funding sport at the grassroots level.

Keynote Speakers

Liz Nicholl

Chief Executive Officer, UK Sport

Nico Heslop

Head of Sport, DCMS

Keynote Speakers

Nico Heslop

Head of Sport, DCMS

Liz Nicholl

Chief Executive Officer, UK Sport


Gavin Newlands MP

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Sport)


Councillor Faye Abbott

Member, Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, Local Government Association Athlete

Stephen Park

Performance Director, British Cycling

Steven Day

Head of Participation, The FA

Jane Ashworth

Chief Executive, StreetGames

Ed Warner

former Chair, UK Athletics and Author, Sport Inc.: Why money is the winner in the business of sport

Adrian Christy

Chief Executive, Badminton England

Tim Hollingsworth

Chief Executive, Sport England