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Record payout from London Marathon charity

11 April 2011

More than £5.3 million from the record surplus made by the London Marathon last year was awarded in grants to help build, preserve, refurbish and purchase sports and recreation facilities, the organisers' charitable trust announced today.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust donated grants of between £1,852 and £235,000 to 59 projects in 25 local authority areas in and around the capital, as well as setting aside a further £1 million towards its commitment to support community legacy facilities after the London 2012 Olympics.

The largest single award was a contribution towards the construction of new changing and community sports facilities in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, while the smallest, £1,852, paid for a twin-hulled canoe, known as a katakanu, at Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre.

Other large grants included £215,000 to upgrade the athletics track and run-ups at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Enfield and £150,000 to Samuel Montague Youth Centre to replace an old floodlit playing area with a new full-size multi-sports pitch.

In addition, the Dudley Winterbottom Memorial Hall in Hackleton, Northamptonshire, near the site of the adidas Silverstone Half Marathon, received £80,000 to build a new two-storey annexe.

Numerous smaller grants were also made, such as £7,000 for outdoor gym equipment at Kenton Recreation Ground in Harrow; £7,500 for new gym equipment at St John's Church Hall at the Hanlon Centre in Enfield; £20,000 for improvements to Brittons Skate Plaza at Havering; £25,000 to upgrade Brockwell Park BMX track in Lambeth; and £25,000 to refurbish basketball and football pitches at Eleanor Smith Special School in Newham.

Each year the surplus from the London Marathon Limited, which organises the London Marathon and other events, is transferred under Gift Aid to the Trust and the trustees award grants to further one of the objectives laid down by its founders, Chris Brasher and John Disley, namely: "to raise money for the provision of recreational facilities in London".

The amount awarded in 2010 brings the total grants made by the Trust to date to more than £40 million aiding more than 900 projects.

The Trust's chairman John Bryant said: "We are delighted once again to have been able to award so many grants to so many important local sports and recreation projects.

"One of the primary objectives of the race when it was founded 30 years ago was to help provide facilities for recreation and leisure, and it is heartening to know that the event's success means we have been able to increase the overall value of our grants each year."

Bryant, formerly the Trust's vice chairman, took over as chairman this year when the previous chair, John Disley, was named president of the London Marathon.