Many aspects of modern life make it harder to live a healthy and active life: convenience food, sedentary jobs with long hours, the types of transport on offer and even the entertainment that is most easily accessible are all designed to keep us sitting down.

With such a complex problem we must address the policy, environmental, social and individual factors that encourage or prevent active lives. This may sound straightforward but in reality it relies on everyone making it their mission to get others moving: employers, school and hospital staff, town planners, GP practices and community centres can all influence how much people move every day.

When whole systems work together to get people moving, we can also solve other problems too, such as improving educational attainment and health outcomes, supporting the local economy, reducing our impact on the environment and creating healthier, happier, safer places; collectively making Greater Manchester a better place for everyone to live.

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Previous investments into physical activity has had an almost exclusive focus on short-term interventions that target individuals or small groups. While some of these investments may have led to change, the impact at a population-level is small, and often unsustainable.

We need to find a way to achieve sustainable increases in activity levels, at scale.

To help enable this sustainable change Sport England invested in 12 selected locations across the country. By funding the 12 pilots Sport England wanted to test whether taking a behaviour change approach in a place could enable sustainable change and valuable learning that can be shared with colleagues across the country. You can find more information about the other 11 pilot across England here.

All 10 of the Greater Manchester localities are involved in the pilot and have their own steering groups and individual plans. Since July 2018, each of the localities within Greater Manchester have been utilising research and insight to create their initial 12-month plan, starting from April 2019. These can be viewed via the links in the map below; the initial plans start to outline the approach that will be taken in each area.

Wigan Salford Trafford Bolton Bury Rochdale Oldham Tameside and Glossop Stockport Manchester

There are nine key principles for the local pilot that underpin this work: 


The local pilot in Greater Manchester focuses on three key audiences:

Children and young people

Children and young people aged 5-18 in out-of-school settings.

People out of work

People out of work, and people in work but at risk of becoming workless.

People with long term conditions

People aged 40-60 with, or at risk of, long term conditions: specifically, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disorders

Enabling functions

To support the local pilot in Greater Manchester each borough is supported by four key enabling functions: evaluation, marketing, workforce development and engagement.

Follow the links below to learn more about the role and impact of the four enabling function below:

Latest News

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Active Workplaces and Tameside Council

By Sunflower Childcare Group & Tameside Council | 29 June 2022

As part of Greater Manchester’s local pilot project, Tameside Council is supporting its region’s organisations to find more opportunities to adopt active workplaces and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of their teams.

Get involved in Stockport's Access to Activity Forum

By Seashell Trust | 13 January 2022

The Access to Activity forum will work together with partners to co-produce and co-design services that address inequalities and increase opportunities and access for SEND children and young people to be active.

The Local Pilot in action in Rochdale

By GreaterSport | 22 December 2021

This article looks at how Rochdale have engaged more people in physical activity by embedding the offer in the New Pioneers Programme.