Consultation on leisure facilities strategy

Overview of our leisure facilities strategy's consultation

Being active every day is important for everyone, at every age. It’s essential for overall health, cuts down the risks associated with excess weight, diabetes, and heart disease and has a positive effect on other conditions including mental health.

During lockdown many felt motivated and had the time to develop other forms of activity and for some this meant an increase in exercise and activity, but for others, especially school children, the lack of organised facilities and activities resulted in a drop.

Throughout lockdown, Sport England carried out regular surveys to understand how people reacted. The result was a mixed picture (visit Sport England's website to find out more).

Those living with long term health conditions, on lower incomes, BAME communities, disabled people, and those living in towns all found it harder to be active during lockdown.

We do know however, that public leisure centres are at the heart of communities.

Public leisure centres:

  • are places where communities connect to socialise and have fun
  • serve all age ranges and abilities: from parents with babies, through to sports clubs, walking groups and gentle exercise classes

We know, too, that they play an essential part in supporting health and wellbeing and can help reduce pressure on the NHS and social services. Centres are flexible spaces which can react to changing needs and support people with both exercise and less formal physical activities. They have a vital role to play in helping people maintain their physical and mental health, and build resistance to, and recover from, COVID-19.

We are also planning for future housing growth and so we need to ensure our indoor leisure centre facilities keep pace with growing demand. The draft leisure facilities strategy details how and where we need centres to meet residents’ needs, in line with our Local Plan (find out more about our Local Plan).