ATHLETICS and cycling have emerged with the biggest funding increases from Sport England’s pot of £480m announced yesterday.

The £480m is being split among 46 sports over the next four years, including all Olympic and Paralympic sports.

Sport England’s aim is to increase grassroots sport and for one million people to be playing more sport by the London 2012 Olympics.

All sports have been awarded increases but athletics’ cash has more than tripled from £6.5m to £20.4m, while cycling’s money has almost doubled from £12.4m to £24.3m.

By contrast cricket will only get a three per cent increase – £1m – to £37.8m, however the England and Wales Cricket Board remains the governing body receiving the most cash.

Among the other big sports, the Football Association’s funding is up to £25.6m (from £17.8m in 2005-09), tennis gets £26.8m (up from £22.8m), rugby union £30.7m (from £25.1m), rugby league £29.4m (from £18.5m). The Football Foundation also receives a further £60m for its schemes.

Andy Burnham, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said the London Games provided the perfect chance to inspire people to take up sport.

Burnham said: ‘‘Ahead of 2012, we have an opportunity to get more people participating regularly in sport. With this huge investment in the broadest range of sports, we believe it can be done.’’ Some 14 sports, including fencing, handball, wheelchair basketball and taekwondo receive funding to develop their grassroots for the first time.