ESC says it has managed to free up money within its own budget to fund Active 8 in 2024 and is now looking at ways to secure funding for the next six years.
The Active 8 Plan for Sport was agreed as a ten year plan by the previous ESC Committee in 2020, however it only managed to secure three years worth of funding, which ended in 2023.
The current committee for Education, Sport & Culture asked the States last summer for £300k every year until 2030, or a lump sum of £2.1 million, to secure the future of the plan's delivery.
Alun Williams, BeActive Lead at the Health Improvement Commission, says the initiative needs long-term financial security to deliver what it has set out to do.
"More people, more active, more often - and that includes everybody from children to older people.
We really want to support those who are less active, who need a little more support to make the decision that they want to become more active. You need somebody like an activity officer to be able to enable those changes in approach, so that people can be more active.
If you look at organisations such as the World Health Organisation, they have a 10 year plan to increase levels of activity. It's that long, because you need that kind of leading time to change behaviours.
It takes time to embed the initiatives to help people be more active. You need to work alongside other organisations and that doesn't happen overnight. You do need to have this long-term commitment, and we are really pleased to see that ESC are determined to support that."
Funding for this year has been secured, though ESC has not told us how much and uncertainty remains about how it will be afforded for the remaining six years of the plan.
ESC President Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen has not been available for interview, but said in a statement that her committee is looking at ways to fund the plan within future budgets.
“I am pleased that the funding for Active 8 in 2024 has been found within our existing 2024 budget so the Health Improvement Commission and the Guernsey Sports Commission can receive funding to deliver workstreams this year.
The amendment to the Government Work Plan that Deputy Cameron and I originally submitted would have secured this funding for six more years after 2024, until the end of the original 10 years of the Active 8 plan.
However, with funding becoming available from within Committee budget, it felt wrong to ask the States to approve funding from the General Reserve account when we had funds to use. For this reason, there was a real risk that it would not approved and the work being de-funded.
We do not want a future Committee to find itself in the position we find ourselves now, where the long-term activities under the Active 8 plan are once again un-funded.
It is on that basis that we have decided to look for a way to fund the Plan through future budgets, thereby giving the Commissions the long-term funding security they need to plan into the future.
We will do this in close collaboration with both parties, and we know that we can achieve great value for taxpayers by delivering some services and initiatives by partnering with Commissions in this way.”