Government Drops Plans To Merge Funding Organizations UK Sport, Sport England
The U.K. government has confirmed that the planned merger of elite funding body UK Sport and grassroots organization Sport England, responsible for investing £375M ($594M) a year of public money between them, "has been scrapped," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said the plan to merge the two bodies, announced in '10 "as part of the prime minister's mooted 'bonfire of the quangos,' had been dropped as he announced plans to advertise" for new chairmen for both organizations. Robertson confirmed that the two bodies "would be asked to look for back-office savings and reduce administrative costs." They are "likely to move to the same offices" in '14 when the existing leases run out on their central London offices. Robertson also wants to see them cooperate more "in enabling sports that receive grassroots funding but have been axed from UK Sport's list of funded sports to become more competitive" (GUARDIAN, 1/23).
OUT THE DOOR: The London TELEGRAPH reported UK Sport Chair Sue Campbell and Sport England Chair Richard Lewis "are both stepping down from their posts before the spring." Lewis, "who has cited time constraints due to his other role" as tennis' All England Club CEO, "welcomed the news that the merger was off." Lewis said, "While it was right to explore the most effective and efficient ways of bringing our two organizations closer together, the decision not to merge Sport England and UK Sport is welcome news" (TELEGRAPH, 1/23).