Community organisations, sports and other activity groups that work with under-represented groups of people are being encouraged to apply for a new round of local funding to help them run activities.

Blackburn charity Active Lancashire recently accessed an additional £208k funding through Sport England’s Together Fund (formerly known as the Tackling Inequalities Fund), with the application process going live earlier this month.

Active Lancashire - who help individuals, businesses and communities across the county become more physically and economically active – has already supported several groups in the Blackburn area since April 2020 as part of an earlier allocation of £352,000 of funding.

One such group is One Voice Blackburn, who have been running activity sessions for South Asian women in Blackburn with the support of the funding.

Sports and marketing lead at One Voice Blackburn, Sundas Bakhat, said: "We spotted that South Asian women in our community found some sports daunting and wanted to change this to help boost their confidence and give them new, fun ways to improve their fitness.

"As a result we successfully applied for the Together Fund through Active Lancashire, which has helped 30 women in Blackburn access free swimming and cycling lessons in an environment they have found safe and comfortable."

Other groups in the borough who have received funding include the local Age UK, Care Network and Blackburn Youth Darts Academy.

In addition to financing projects run by groups, some of the funding will also be used to run training and mentoring courses in collaboration with Spring Into Action CIC, with the aim of helping local coaches and instructors understand how to be more inclusive for people with learning disabilities.

A number of grants will also be provided to groups based within deprived areas, to provide children living there with access to swimming lessons during school holidays, following the successful piloting of this in Burnley.

Funding will also support work to engage influencers within ethnically diverse communities in East Lancashire and Preston, to help them promote activities and healthier living.

Chief Executive at Active Lancashire, Adrian Leather, added: “The Together Fund is making a big difference to the lives of people in Lancashire who need it.

"Taking part in regular activity and sport sessions has so many positive benefits, keeping people connected and supporting the health and wellbeing of people from all walks of life.

"This funding is helping to ensure that this remains accessible to everyone.”