GROUPS looking to improve and protect playing fields across the region can access a share of £2m of Sport England funding.

Sport England has launched the latest round of its Protecting Playing Fields fund to help enhance local playing fields or to create new ones.

Through the scheme, Sport England is to make investments of between £20,000 and £50,000 to create, improve and protect playing fields.

The money can be used to bring disused pitches back to life, to buy land, to improve existing facilities for future use.

The project has already supported 36 projects across the North-East which have benefitted from £1.6m of Protecting Playing Fields funding.

Richard Lewis, Sport England chairman, said: “Playing fields are a vital part of the sporting experience as it is where people often have their first experience of sport.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for more sports groups to benefit and give generations of young people great places to learn sport.”

The Protecting Playing Fields fund is part of the £150m Places People Play legacy programme looking to spread Olympic benefits across the country.

Applications can be found on-line at and the closing date for applications for the funding is February 18.