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Sports Centre Improvement Plan

Update September 2015

Completion of the draft Improvement Plan has taken nearly 2 years  due to a lack of Council resources and so it was then contracted out to Strategic Leisure, a consultancy specialising in the strategic planning and development of sports, recreation and leisure facilities. They analysed the drop-in session data and integrated them with analysis of the city’s changing demographics and needs and of the existing, city wide facility provision  and with the results of discussions with other stakeholders and potential funders, such as the local NHS and national governing bodies for various outdoor sports.

The result was a draft Improvement Plan which was released in September 2015  and integrated all the data and proposes several different options for how the site could be improved and developed, the range of facilities it could offer and where these could be sited. Council is not in a position to fund large-scale improvements and in order to attract the funding required from partners and other agencies a clear vision for the facility needed to be established, with support and input from residents, Sport Centre users and national governing bodies of sport. A simultaneous online public consultation was launched, which ran for 12 weeks until 18th December 2015. This consultation called on residents and users of the city’s Outdoor Sports Centre to contribute their views on the proposals to improve the facilities and secure its future in the heart of the city.

FoSSC helped advertise the public consultation and held 2 information sessions at “The View” during the 12 week period in order to promote as wide a participation as possible.

The draft Improvement Plan, accompanying site and building concept drawings can be accessed from the Council’s www site. The document set can also be downloaded as a zip archive from our www site. The draft Improvement Plan is a long and detailed document containing many interesting facts and statistics about Sports Centre use, the City and the City’s current and projected needs. It is well worth reading in full in order to understand how it has been developed but we appreciate that not everyone will have the time to do so. Therefore FoSSC has also produced a pdf document which aims to present an objective and unbiased summary of the key features of the draft Improvement Plan in order to inform and encourage discussion and feedback through the online consultation.

What’s Next?

The online consultation ran until 18th December 2015. Thereafter, its results will be analysed in order to gauge public opinion on the various options proposed and to refine the draft Improvement Plan accordingly. The revised Plan will then be presented to Council Cabinet for their consideration and approval. Then the real work of identifying and securing the necessary funding can begin. It will be a slow process as the total cost will be many million pounds.

Every journey starts with a single step and each step taken is one step nearer the destination.

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Links and documents:

Public Consultation and draft plan on Council www site

FoSSC summary of draft plan

Zip archive of draft plan

FoSSC’s response to the public consultation

FoSSC’s position has always been that the Sports Centre is a City resource and it should be for the City to decide how the site should be improved. Therefore the Steering Group felt that it would be inappropriate for us, as a Group, to endorse any specific features or facilities or aspects of the draft plan. Rather, the Group submission made recommendations for the approaches and principles that we wished to see considered in any future developments. It can be read here.