Nottingham, the home of Macesport, has been named the 2015 City of Football, Sport England has confirmed.

The city was up against Portsmouth and Manchester, who were also shortlisted for the title, but an innovative bid saw them gain the accolade.

Nottingham will now receive up to £1.6 million of National Lottery funding to run a two-year pilot programme that focuses on getting more people – particularly the 14-25 age demographic – playing all forms of the grass roots game.

The programme will be spearheaded by Nottingham Forest and Notts County, and will be supported by more than 40 partners, including local football clubs, learning establishments and the City Council.

Phil Smith, Sport England’s director of sport, said: “We’re delighted to name Nottingham as Sport England’s City of Football.

“Football is this country’s most popular team sport but there is still a real capacity to grow.

“Nottingham has an exciting and inventive response to the challenge of getting more people to play the game and we will look forward to working with them to make this happen.”

Nigel Cooke, head of One Nottingham, added: “This is great news for Nottingham and its people and will transform the footballing landscape in the city.

One Nottingham will continue to bring together organisations and experts from across the city to ensure we deliver an exceptional, joined-up and creative programme, resulting in a social football revolution.

“Over the next two years, we will create new football partnerships; develop new technologies; encourage more people to play, especially 14 to 25 year olds, women and girls and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds; and share our learning so that the rest of England can benefit from our insight.”

Paul Mace, founder and managing director of Macesport, commented: “Macesport is based in one of Nottingham’s most iconic buildings in the Galleries of Justice and we are proud to hail from the first City of Football.
“We work extensively in the world of football and look forward to playing our part in helping football grow in the city.”

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