Explains what the Sports Strategy is, why it has been produced and how it will be used.

What is a Sports Facilities Strategy?

It is a document which sets out the current provision of indoor and outdoor sports facilities in the borough, and identifies what might be needed in the future to meet the growing and changing needs and demands of local people.


How has the strategy been produced?

The council commissioned independent consultants to conduct primary research with local sports providers, and with local sports clubs and associations, and then combined this with other secondary data sources to create an updated strategy.

It has been endorsed by the national governing bodies of sport and by Sport England following Sport England's national guidance and methodology for local government.


Why has a strategy been produced now?

The last strategy is based on fieldwork completed in 2011 and was largely focused on the Building Schools for the Future fund (a central government initiative) and how the borough could access legacy funding from the London Olympics.

This updated strategy is one of the supporting documents needed for the new Local Plan and will provide an evidence base for future negotiated agreements with prospective developers, as well as enabling local clubs and associations to make funding bids.


How will the new strategy be used?

The council will use it to map unmet sports demand in the borough and identify where other existing sports facilities are in need of refurbishment and enhancement. It will then negotiate agreements with new developers so they make a financial or other contribution towards this as part of their planning consent and conditions, and to work with Sport England and others on this.

It will also used by local organisations and clubs to enhance their facilities, as well as schools and town and parish councils. It will also help the council and its leisure contractor masterplan its current leisure provision and look at where future investment could be made.