Dec 17 2012
Tennis has had millions of pounds of funding put on hold unless the sport can improve its plan to boost participation.
Sport England have announced the 2013-17 funding levels for all sports but the Lawn Tennis Association's four-year plan for increasing the numbers of people playing has been declared "not strong enough" and £10.3million of its £17.4million total has been put on hold.
Swimming and basketball will also have chunks of funding withheld for 2014-17 - both sports have brand-new participation plans and they need to prove these are working. Other sports such as cycling, netball, triathlon and wheelchair basketball have all enjoyed funding rises of more than 30 per cent.
For tennis, the overall funding will go down from £24.5million to £17.4million and the LTA will have to produce a convincing new, improved plan for how they will spend the 2014-17 money, otherwise it will be distributed in other ways such as directly to clubs.
Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said: "Tennis has not performed well in terms of participation and is broadly flat though it got a bit of bounce in the latest figures.
"Their plan simply wasn't strong enough to justify the four-year investment. Our hope with tennis is that they do access the full four years. They have only a one-year award for participation and they have to improve their plan for growing participation.
"The current plan doesn't have a good delivery plan across the country, there is not a good feedback mechanism, it is not really based on customer insight but the LTA know about all these things and we are working with them."
Some 31 of the 46 sports are getting increases including cycling £32million (up from £24.7million), netball £25.3million (£18.7million), triathlon £7.5million (£4.7million) and wheelchair basketball £2million (£700,000). Football's Sport England funding will also rise by £4.4million to £30million.
In relation to swimming, Price said its new plan needed to produce results to turn around a 300,000 drop in the numbers of people taking part in order to secure the withheld funding.
She added: "Swimming has really struggled to drive participation but they have a brand-new plan and a brand-new director who has made a reasonable start. We didn't have the evidence for four years but we are giving them a one-year investment to prove the plan is capable. It is a similar situation with basketball."