Yesterday I met with Nadine Dorries, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to discuss grassroots sports funds. In this meeting, I advocated for our local grassroots sports clubs and the difference they make, especially to young people in the most deprived areas.
Following a visit at the end of last year, I raised the case of Ipswich Vale Exiles FC and the Bourne Vale social club with the Secretary of State, and how vital the club is to the IP2 area it serves. When I visited the club, I heard about the contribution of their 22 youth teams to the opportunities for young people in the area, as well as the financial struggles of the club. As well as raising the situation of Bourne Vale in the chamber previously, yesterday I asked the Secretary of State how we can better support grassroots sports, and the potential for a grassroots sports fund in Ipswich.
I also told the Secretary of State about the Gecko Theatre company, which is using funds from her department to build a state-of-the-art rehearsal space, a significant project which is contributing to the regeneration of the waterfront. Yesterday I was ensuring that the use of funds from her department’s grant would be as beneficial as possible to the Gecko Theatre company, and I will be continuing this discussion with the Treasury.