Commonwealth Games England have been awarded £4 million for Sport England to help preparations for Glasgow 2018 ©Commonwealth Games England

Sport England has awarded Commonwealth Games England £4 million ($5.1 million/€4.6 million) of National Lottery funding to boost their preparations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, it has been announced.

The funding will be used to give Team England the opportunity to create the best possible performance environment for the athletes, coaches and support staff, it is cliamed.

This will include holding a preparation camp prior to the Games in Australia, viewed as crucial to helping athletes acclimatise, as well as ensuring all support services are available to the team.

A full quota of around 400 athletes are expected to be able to represent England as a result of the funding, which will supplement money raised by Commonwealth Games England through sponsorship.

A total of 18 sports, as well as 38 Para-medal events, will be contested at the Games, with England now set to send their largest ever overseas team.

"London, Glasgow and Rio have shown us two very important things - English athletes are among the very best in the world and millions of fans love to cheer them on," said Phil Smith, Sport England's director of sport.

"Sport England is absolutely committed to the success of Team England at the Commonwealth Games.

"With this National Lottery funding, we’re proudly standing shoulder to shoulder with the team and supporting our greatest sporting talent."

Double Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Max Whitlock could be among the England team at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images
Double Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Max Whitlock could be among the England team at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images

England topped the medals table at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by securing 174 medals, including 59 golds, for the first time since Edinburgh 1986. 

Among the stars of the England team were Olympic gold medallists Max Whitlock, a gymnast, swimmer Adam Peaty and cyclist Laura Kenny, née Trott.

Sport England have viewed the Commonwealth Games as a significant stepping stone for athletes, giving them experience of competing on the highest international stage.

The Games also acts as one of the most important events on the calendar for non-Olympic sports such as lawn bowls, netball and squash.

"We are really pleased to have secured the funding from Sport England, which will allow us to create the best possible performance environment for our athletes to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018," Paul Blanchard, Commonwealth Games England's chief executive, said. 

"This funding recognises the value of the Commonwealth Games themselves, but also their strategic importance for developing talent and delivering medals in line with the Government’s and Sport England’s strategies."

The news comes ahead of the Commonwealth Games Federation holding their General Assembly in Edmonton, with the event in Canada due take place this week.