Carlisle United are joining forces with Manchester United to help offer a groundbreaking new range of community sport initiatives in Carlisle.

The Blues’ community sports trust is linking up with Manchester United Foundation to deliver the scheme.

The two organisations will work with Richard Rose Central Academy and housing association Riverside.

The venture will see the Old Trafford club appoint someone to work full-time at the school.

John Shiels, chief executive of Manchester United Foundation, said: “It offers our first opportunity to support children outside of Greater Manchester and the fact that Riverside is supporting, and CUCST [the Blues’ community sports trust] will also be in school means that the potential of the project is huge.

“We are really looking forward to getting involved.”

Those behind the idea say a range of sports initiatives will be on offer “that will help engage and inspire young people living in Carlisle.”

Carlisle’s community sports trust are set to recruit a school partnership officer to lead their project work for students aged 11-18.

The scheme will “identify students and support them through a series of leadership and mentoring programmes over the next three years”.

John Halpin, Carlisle’s community sports trust manager, said: “We’re really excited to be part of this project. It’s a fantastic way to extend our outreach programme by working closely with Riverside and Central Academy locally, and alongside Manchester United Foundation.

“It will be really good to work with young people and offer a different kind of approach to help them to fully realise their potential.

“It will be a massive benefit to the students who take part.”

Stephen Gilby, principal at Richard Rose Central Academy, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the students of Central.

“This exciting programme will give students the chance to take part in things they didn’t think possible, raising aspirations and broadening their experience to support their next steps in life.”

Sarah Paton, regional director of Riverside, added: “Many of our customers’ children attend the academy and we wanted to provide support through a programme that will engage with them.

“We are really pleased to be funding such an alternative project that will deliver some great activities to engage and motivate the children involved.”

The project will also see match tickets offered to students.

Manchester United's Foundation describe their mission statement as to "use football to engage and inspire young people to build a better life for themselves and unite the communities in which they live."

They say their work so far covers 18,009 participants.

Recruitment for the school partnership role through Carlisle United's CST will take place between now and April. For more details contact John Halpin at or on 01228 554169 / 07862724318.