Manchester is bidding to become the country’s first ever ‘City of Football’.
The title ‘City of Football’ will be awarded by Sport England, with the winner receiving £1.6m in National Lottery funding to run a two-year pilot programme aimed at getting more people – particularly those aged 14-25 years – playing all forms of the game.
Manchester is now vying against Nottingham and Portsmouth for the title, after a shortlist was drawn up from the 22 cities who originally applied.
Developing the bid is the newley formed Manchester Football Consortium, a group of organisations being lead by Manchester City Council and including local and national football partners, and organisations from sectors including: marketing, PR, transport, media, culture, music, sport, business, digital, and education. The consortium is currently developing a vision and football strategy that will seek to transform the grass-roots game in Manchester.
The Manchester Football Consortium is now asking local people and organisations to ‘back our bid’ and to give their views about the how participation in grass-roots football can be improved and how new audiences can be introduced to the game. The information will help shape Manchester’s final bid to Sport England.
The wining city will be announced at the end of September 2014.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Manchester’s passion for football eclipses almost any other city in the world, so it seems right that we have made it to the shortlist for the ‘City of Football’.
“Our love of the beautiful game is evident in our two internationally renowned football clubs, the National Football Museum and the unparalleled enthusiasm of local fans.
“The ‘City of Football’ is about encouraging more people to actually get out and play, so I’d ask everyone to let us know what they think is needed and help us create an innovative and transformational plan.”
For more information or to offer support follow Manchester’s bid on twitter @Manchester_COF or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Manchester City Of Football