Manchester United awarded £30,000 lottery grant for gym

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The Independent Online

Tens of thousands of pounds of lottery cash has been promised to Manchester United to build a gym for staff at the football club and TV workers on Coronation Street.

The Premiership football club has been promised a total of £30,000 as part of a £1.2m regional campaign aimed at boosting fitness levels in people in north-west England.

A further £45,000 has been given to a leading Manchester legal firm to provide free gym membership to lawyers and support staff. Companies were invited to apply for grants from the group last March but the winners have only recently been announced.

Manchester United said they had received a £10,000 grant and will receive the remaining £20,000 over the next two years.

The law firm, Halliwells, plan to use its £45,000 grant to pay gym fees at LA Fitness for its 600 staff.

Sport England defended the grants, saying that the programme was aimed at people with limited incomes and the organisation should not discriminate against rich firms.

ITV Granada's new fitness centre will be open to all staff, including the Coronation Street cast's top-earning stars. The grant will be used to buy health assessment equipment and the centre is expected to be opened by the end of the month.

The medical centre manager, Corinne McParland, stressed the centre would be available to Granada's entire 1,000-strong workforce and not just TV stars.

A spokesman for Sport England said: "With people spending more and more time at work, research clearly shows us that the workplace is an important priority if we are going to succeed in the drive to get the nation more active.

"We cannot and should not discriminate against a firm based on whether it is perceived to be a wealthy organisation but should target those who will help make a real difference.''

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