Sport England confirms funding for BMC and partners

The BMC and its partners are delighted to announce the funding bid with Sport England has been successful.

The British Mountaineering Council is amongst a group of over 120 organizations working in partnership with Sport England to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.

The BMC will receive expertise, support and an investment of £2,790,875 of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitions of its 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.

Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active – like women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance and your postcode.

As part of the funding award the BMC will work in collaborative partnership with the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC), Mountain Training UK & Ireland, Mountain Training England and the National Indoor Climbing Award Schemes (NICAS). Using our shared knowledge, leadership, and position of influence to create the right conditions for participation in our activities by all members of society – establishing a truly inclusive community of participants.

The BMC will be supported to continue to focus on leadership in governing and oversight; in raising the profile of the sport of climbing, and in supporting the sport’s growth and ongoing development. The participant experience will be at the core with a system of coaches, clubs, and venues to ensure minimum standards are met in safeguarding, anti-doping, facilities, and coaching provision.

Finally, the award will enable the BMC to transform and establish an England talent pathway with multiple transition points, appropriate to athlete age and development. Holistic athlete planning supports positive athlete experiences, preparing them equally for life as a performer and for life beyond the competitive arena. Creating a broader infrastructure of grassroots talent provision, working in partnerships to develop accessible competitions and environments through the establishment of talent clubs and hubs.

Over £550million is being invested in total, with the partners including the British Mountaineering Council receiving funding for up to five years. This new funding model from Sport England provides longer-term financial security as organizations recover and reinvent from the Covid-19 pandemic.

All partner organizations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence change and improvement at the heart of the system they are a part of, no matter how big or small. This is the first step on a journey to revolutionize Sport England’s approach to long-term partnerships as it seeks to partner and collaborate with innovative organizations to deliver Uniting the Movement and build a nation where everyone can get active.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “Sport England’s goal is to get everyone active – no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is. But we know that certain groups are more likely to be inactive. We can only innovate and tackle inequalities effectively by thinking about long-term change; Uniting the Movement is a long-term vision, and our funding approach needs to reflect that. Changes to our funding model will help us achieve our goal, by making it easier for our partners to do what they need to do to level up and deliver.”

Paul Davies, CEO of the BMC, said: “The BMC is at an important cross-roads with increasing participation across all the disciplines that we represent and exciting developments in the sport of competition climbing. We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can participate responsibly, safely and that they supported to achieve their potential.

“Under the ‘Uniting the Movement’ strategy and support of Sport England, and alongside our partners we will create an environment where participants, volunteers, and administrators will be reflective of the nation’s demographic, creating a better future for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers .”


Notes to editors

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the national representative body for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers in England and Wales and is recognized as such by government. The BMC is committed to promoting the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers and good practice in all activities related to these pursuits.

About Sport England

Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programs that help people get active and play sport.

It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.

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GB Climbing is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland and Secur-it. The GB Ice Climbing Team is supported by Montane. Many UK walls also support the GB Climbing through free or subsidized entry.

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