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UK Sport is cutting 25% of its staff amid financial pressures

UK Sport is cutting 25% of its staff amid financial pressures

British Sports, the government agency that provides funding for Britain's Olympic and Paralympic programme, will have to cut the jobs of 25 per cent of its staff and 50 per cent of its directors by July.

In a surprise statement to staff and national governing bodies on Wednesday afternoon, chief executive Sally Munday cited “unprecedented financial pressures”.

UK Sport has around 150 staff and provides funding of around £340 million, sourced from the National Lottery, for Olympic and Paralympic sports.

But Monday said the high-performing agency faces some huge challenges, as employees see some tough decisions coming.

“We do not believe we can make a credible case for her,” she wrote in an email to staff Your government on your behalf in order to increase investment unless we all play our part and demonstrate significant savings and efficiencies.

“We have spent a significant amount of time developing the proposals and have told our staff that we are seeking to reduce our headcount by approximately 25 per cent. The proposals include changes at all levels of the organization including director level where we propose to reduce our director team by half.

While the British Olympic scene has been tarnished by a series of safeguarding controversies, sport in the UK is generally viewed as a success story.

Its investment in athletes, who receive up to £25,000 a year tax-free, tested sports performance award, has led to major medals at the past three Olympic Games, in London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

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The agency was founded in 1997, following a “rock bottom” showing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where the British team returned with just one gold medal. By London, in 2012, Team GB was third in the medal table with 29 goal medals, rising to second place in Rio four years later.

UK Sport has been contacted for comment.