The Nottingham City of Football project will come to an end in March having met all of the outcomes agreed with Sport England back in 2014.

The successful project, which aimed at encouraging more people between 14-25 to get involved in football, will provide a lasting legacy to the game in the city that will continue long into the future.

Nottingham received £1.6m in National Lottery funding to run a two-year pilot programme, as Sport England appointed the city as the first ‘City of Football’.

Nottingham City of Football was tasked with the challenge of helping people across the city to find their football in new and interesting ways.

Amanda Chambers, Managing Director at Nottingham City of Football, said: “We have achieved exactly what we set out to do over the last two years with over 4000 football sessions delivered and over 2000 people have taken part in football in the city for the first time it has been an incredible success.

“The growth of female football in the city has been a particular highlight, over 40% of people who attended the activity sessions were females, and more women and girls are taking part in football throughout Nottingham than ever before.

“More and more people, from many different backgrounds, are now finding their football locally and we are proud to not only have played our part in that, but also to remain as the only City of Football in this country.”

The project has drawn on England stars such as Laura Bassett, Jo Potter and Carly Telford, who are all local to the area, to pass on their wisdom and experience to female footballers at events such as the ‘Reclaim the Pitch’ night and the ‘Multi-Sport Mash-Up’ event.

Phil Smith, Director of Sport at Sport England, said: “Nottingham has come up with some very exciting and innovative ways of getting more people to play the game and the results are absolutely fantastic.

“A lasting legacy has been created for football in Nottingham, and it is great to see so many new people from many different communities get involved in football.”

Statistics show that the project has fully achieved its goals of creating diverse events to encourage more people to get involved in football, as well as reaching out to new and emerging communities.

Over 39% of the participants engaged in the programme have come from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority in a city where the figure is currently at 35%.

In total, Nottingham City of Football has organised 27 events as well as a number of activity sessions. A staggering 59% of people attending these sessions had either played football infrequently or had never played the sport before.

Nottingham City of Football has also provided opportunities for people of an older generation to get back into football with activities such as ‘Rusty Returners’ and ‘Vet Women’.

There will only ever be one City of Football and the rich heritage of football in Nottingham has a bright future thanks to the project.

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