Sport England yesterday announced a total investment of £480 million to deliver grassroots sporting opportunities, with £24.3 million heading to British Cycling.

The £24,288,000 of funding going to British Cycling represents a 96% increase compared to the 2005-2009 funding period, the second highest increase awarded to any of the 46 sports eligible for funding.

British Cycling has developed a plan which defines where it can contribute to Sport England’s targets concerning growth, sustainability and excellence. British Cycling’s four-year proposal to Sport England included:

- Facilities: A new network of permanent traffic-free cycle sport facilities to create a safe environment for existing and new participants in cycle sport plus a 'Sporting Events on the Highways' unit to work towards securing the long-term future and availability of sporting events on the public highway.

- Competition: The deployment of 10 full-time regional competition development officers to co-ordinate and support the volunteer delivery of the cycling competition programme for each region. This will improve both the quantity and quality of events for participants.

- Coaching: The continued delivery of British Cycling’s UK Coaching Plan to increase the quantity and quality of existing coaching, and therefore participants’ satisfaction levels as well as ensuring there is an appropriate coaching structure to support the development of talent and lifelong participation.

- Children and Young People: The continued deployment of 25 full-time Go-Ride coaches and nine part-time cycling specific community sports coaches operating around traffic-free facility hubs.

- Recreational Cycling: The continued delivery and expansion of British Cycling’s Everyday Cycling programme, including the deployment of 10 full-time Everyday Cycling activators operating around traffic-free facility hubs.

British Cycling will now work with Sport England to refine and finalise this plan in line with the new funding, which will come on stream in April 2009.

British Cycling chief executive designate Ian Drake says: “This is a fantastic result for British Cycling. It will ensure that we can continue to get more people participating in cycling for sport and regular recreation. It will also enable us to continue to develop our playground-to-podium talent system through the successful Go-Ride programme.

“No other sport has demonstrated the same level of growth in general participation, club sport and medal success during the current funding cycle. We welcome Sport England’s support in the development of our plans and the approach of funding governing bodies on their record of delivery to date and potential to deliver in the run up to 2012.

“The support of our principal partner, BSKYB, in aligning their support against the outcomes required by Sport England played a key role in our submission to Sport England. We are now confident that together we can make the single biggest contribution to the lasting Olympic legacy of more people playing sport by 2012."

Sport England will monitor and evaluate results on a quarterly basis, and will hold governing bodies of sport accountable for their plans. Its second Active People Survey, which was released last week, has provided a baseline for participation in each sport against which specific growth targets will be measured.