Tens of thousands to benefit from Integrated Communities Innovation Fund

Sport England

May 20
09:45 2019

Sixteen trailblazing projects across the country are set to receive 3 million of new funding to support innovative approaches to integration, Communities Minister Lord Bourne confirmed today (20 May 2019).

From a community gardening project in south-west London that helps new migrants to practice their English language skills while learning how to cultivate land, to table tennis clubs to be run across 3 housing estates in Brighton, the governments Integrated Communities Innovation Fund will help drive forward projects to tackle the causes of poor integration.

Delivered in partnership with Sport England, the Fund will engage 70,000 people with activities in schools, community and leisure centres, and in partnership with businesses, local authorities and housing associations.

The Communities Minister made the announcement while visiting the Blackfriars Settlement in London which is running a project to encourage social mixing through pop-up friendliness cafes.

Communities Minister, Lord Bourne said:

Britain is on the whole a well-integrated society, but we know that too many people are still locked out of the benefits that come with full participation in society.

To tackle the root causes of poor integration we need to bring together people from all backgrounds and from all parts of society, from business leaders to grassroots charities.

That is why we have partnered with Sport England to fund 16 trailblazing projects that seek to bridge divides and bring communities together in bold and innovative ways.

Government will fund 14 projects across the country, while Sport England will fund 2 projects in Birmingham and Brighton.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive, Sport England said:

Sport England is proud to be working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help integrate communities up and down the country.

Not only does taking part in sport and physical activity have powerful mental and physical health benefits, it can help people develop new skills and bring them together in a shared experience.

We look forward to working with the projects as they help people feel more connected to their communities and society as a whole.

Todays announcement is part ofthe governments ongoing work to tackle the causes of poor integration, including working with 5 integration areas across England: Blackburn with Darwen; Bradford; Peterborough; Walsall; and Waltham Forest, who have produced their own ambitious local integration plans.

The government is committing at total of 2,747,722. Sport England committing an additional 271,203 of funding for the Brighton Tennis Club and Youth Sport Trust.

Details of the projects being funded

Aldridge Education

Project in the Blackburn with Darwen Integration Area working with 14 to 19-year-olds to empower young people to lead enterprising solutions to social challenges. Students will work in teams to develop ideas and run their own businesses supporting social projects.

Ashley Community Housing

Employment programme to stimulate peoples autonomy, aspiration, engagement and access to social capital through personal integration plans. Focusing on vulnerable homeless newly arrived refugees and migrants in Bristol, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Burnley FC in the Community

Employability programme for NEET adults. Provides social mixing opportunities for the BAME and white British community, and run in the former Brierfield Mill, which has been renovated by the Club into a brand-new leisure facility.

The Behavioural Insights Team

Two projects: one delivered by UKActive through its UK-wide physical activity camps during the summer holidays, and another to develop a new evidence-based curriculum for PSHE classes in 15 schools across Birmingham and Coventry.

Brighton Table Tennis Club

Running table tennis clubs across three housing estates in Brighton. Each club is delivered by a team of 3 qualified coaches: one experienced coach, one community coach who comes from the estate, and one qualified coach who is an unaccompanied asylum seeker.

The Challenge Network

Project in London, Birmingham and Manchester bringing together young people from different backgrounds through a volunteering and employability programme. Participants can attend an interview for a paid position with one of The Challenges corporate partners.


Develops a new employment-based pathway to integration for people living marginalised and isolated lives in Kent and Medway. Participants will create video CVs to be uploaded via a new portal, and a network manager will engage employers and encourage businesses to weave integration into existing corporate social responsibility, equality and diversity policies

Groundwork London

Tackles local integration challenges in Barnet and Hackney through activities that bring together white settled majority communities, well-established ethnic minority communities and recent arrivals to the area. Activities include chatterbox sessions, employment support, and volunteering around environmental action.

Learn English at Home

Merges social mixing opportunities with language interventions through a structured programme combining community gardening and language support. Activities will take place across south-west London, working with ethnic-minority adults and local resident volunteers.

Luton Tigers

In-school interventions using poetry, art, dance and drama to explore commonalities and differences between children from different backgrounds. Supplemented by lunch-time sport activities in preparation for an inter-school sports programme where children will team up with, and compete against, children from other schools.

Mary Ward Settlement

Informal social events at a pop-up community caf, addressing barriers to meaningful social mixing. Participants can volunteer to help run activities, and outreach events will be supported by a community engagement officer across Southwark and Lambeth.

National Literacy Trust

Project in the Integration Area of Bradford addressing community segregation through art. Works with a diverse mix of primary schools, local artists and members of the public to create exhibitions to showcase different cultural backgrounds and shared values.

Red Zebra Community Solutions

Project in Kent targeting Roma and non-Roma people living in deprived and fractured communities. Activities will include capacity-building for local providers, family learning sessions and cultural-awareness workshops.

Super Being Labs

A free app that facilitates access to knowledge, services and events for new migrants in Haringey. Tackles integration challenges through information, advice and guidance on topics such as finding a new home, healthcare, banking, learning English, and life in the UK.

Youth Sport Trust

Project aiming to address school segregation and lack of social mixing in Birmingham, bringing together 22 highly segregated schools with different levels of disadvantage and diversity to integrate through sporting activity. Activities include inspirational assemblies, sport events and volunteer training, culminating in a large-scale sporting festival.

Office address and general enquiries

2 Marsham Street


If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us -

If you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale.

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Share This

Enjoyed this? Why not share it with others if you've found it useful by using one of the tools below: