But cuts made at Department of Culture, Media and Sport
by Our Sports Desk
UK Sport was given a 29 per cent rise in its income over the next five years yesterday, with grassroots sports funding remaining the same.
It was feared that George Osborne would dramatically cut the budget but instead income will rise from £135 milion to around £148m which will be crucial for athletes in the build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Osborne’s spending review states: “The government is increasing its funding for elite sport to build on the success of Olympic and Paralympic games at London 2012 and support Team GB’s ambition for success in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.”
The government will also support bids to host two other major sports events, the 2021 Rugby League World Cup and cycling road world championships.
The review adds: “Following the success of hosting London 2012 and the rugby union World Cup the government will support the ambition to host the cycling road world championships and 2021 rugby league World Cup in the Northern Powerhouse.”
However, funding for grassroots sports will remain broadly the same after it was announced they would receive a “flat cash settlement,” and the same will apply to UK Anti-Doping.
And the increase masks the Department for Culture, Media and Sport having to make 20 per cent savings from its administrative expenditure.
Sports minister Tracey Crouch welcomed the increased funding for Olympics and Paralympics.
She said: “This settlement recognises the wider value of sport in society and how it plays an important role in boosting the economy.
“The increase in funding will support our elite athletes in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, grow the grassroots to get more people involved in sport and promote clean sport in the UK and beyond.”
The RFL welcomed the backing of the government in bidding for the World Cup.
More than 450,000 fans flowed through the turnstiles of 21 venues across Britain when the country last hosted the tournament in 2013 and hopes are high for a repeat performance.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: “We are delighted that the RFL’s interest in bidding for the Rugby League World Cup has government support.
“The UK has a deserved reputation for staging world-class events and the RFL has demonstrated its own ability to deliver in recent years.
“We believe with the right level of national support, up to and including the World Cup in 2021, there is a real opportunity to build further on the successful 2013 World Cup and move the sport onto a new level, delivering an unprecedented event that showcases Rugby League to the whole world.”