Nottingham has been named as Sport England's City of Football and has been awarded the right to stage a project testing ways of getting more people involved in the game.
The city was chosen ahead of Manchester and Portsmouth in a new initiative, which was created after £1.6m of funding for the amateur game was cut from the Football Association in March.
Sport England released a statement saying that Nottingham had been awarded the £1.6m two-year project "by mobilising an impressive group of private, public and voluntary sector partners from both inside and outside the traditional football family, to do whatever it takes to get more people, particularly those aged 14-25 years, playing all kinds of football regularly".
Head of One Nottingham Nigel Cooke added: "Over the next two years, we will create new football partnerships, develop new technologies, encourage more people to play, especially 14 to 25 year olds, women and girls and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and share our learning so that the rest of England can benefit from our insight."
Last year, figures of people playing football regularly fell by 100,000.