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Isle of Anglesey – Developing Leisure for Future Generations: Capital investment plan for leisure provision

Strategic Leisure Limited (SLL), Roberts Limbrick (architects) and Leonie Cowen Associates (LCA) were appointed in October 2018 to undertake two separate, but linked projects for the IACC:

  • An appraisal of the alternative delivery models (ADMs) for the future operational management of the leisure centres
  • A short, medium and long-term capital investment plan for the four existing IACC leisure centres

The capital investment project included:

Phase 1 – An assessment of community, leisure and fitness needs on Anglesey inc a comprehensive public, school and club consultation programme

Phase 2 – A condition survey of the leisure centres (including structural analysis where required)

Phase 3 – Identification of potential investment options

Phase 4 – Preparation of narrative, drawings, sketches and floor plans to illustrate preferred investment proposals

Phase 5 – Development of detailed capital and revenue costs for all investment proposals

A summary of capital investment needs are detailed below:

Across the four local authority facilities recommendations included:

Facility 1 – recommendations for a new build as the most cost-effective and long-term solution located on adjacent school site.

Facility 2 – Priority investment to address immediate maintenance and condition issues with the option to develop extended fitness and outdoor artificial pitch provision in the medium term

Facility 3 – New build option due to age and condition of current centre. This would be on the same site (slightly different location). The footprint would be smaller and more efficient with a larger swimming pool to address demand. There is the opportunity for a ‘Hub’ approach with co-located services and multi-purpose social spaces based upon consultation feedback.

Facility 4 – New build however, if a new build option cannot be afforded immediately, the short-term option should be to invest in the key income-generating areas, to ensure the facility is updated and participation is increased

Funding:

There are a number of options for funding the above, including:

  • IACC Core budget
  • Grants
  • Prudential borrowing
  • Developer contributions (S106)
  • Anglesey Charitable Trust support

Summary:

Building on the successful pitch and fitness investment IACC had delivered, there is a need to look at investment in the leisure centre portfolio to ensure:

  • Future facilities are fit for purpose and future-proofed
  • Future facilities operate more cost effectively and sustainably
  • Accessibility is maintained to meet the needs of rural and urban communities on the Island
  • Future facilities provide more flexible space to facilitate wider partnership working
  • Continued co-location with education remains a key delivery partnership, which enables young people to experience high quality physical opportunities from a young age
  • Reduced operational costs, increased participation and income generation
  • Facilities are attractive and engaging, reflecting current and future participation trends, to meet customer expectation, encourage, and support healthy lifestyles
  • Ensure facilities conform with safeguarding, Welsh language & equality requirements
  • The life span of facilities is extended to 30 years+
  • Establish Leisure Centres as community hubs
  • Identify and develop a new management model

Despite being discretionary, the importance and role of IACC’s leisure provision cannot be under-estimated; it is a service area that enables the County Council to respond proactively to key national well-being objectives, including promoting good (physical and mental) health for everyone; and building healthier, more resilient communities, as well as the statutory responsibilities of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Pembrokeshire County Council – Leisure Strategy 2018-2028

Project Overview

Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) identified the need to develop a new Leisure Strategy to guide the provision of services for the next 10 years. The Leisure Strategy formed part of the overall PCC Transformation Agenda. This project linked to work being undertaken which explored a TECKAL model for service delivery.

Strategic Leisure Ltd (SLL) was appointed to develop the new leisure strategy in September 2017 which delivered:

  • Improved performance and income generation from year one of delivery and sufficient levels to meet the financial challenges without having to cut service provision
  • Clarity of direction for the next decade
  • Buy-in from the leisure team and wider stakeholders

PCC recognise the important contribution the service makes towards its education & well-being objectives. However, in line with other local authorities, the service had to make a number of changes to balance reducing budgets with financial pressures likely to continue for at least another 4 years. The aspiration was to address these challenges by generating even higher levels of usage and income than it currently does, potentially diversifying service provision, as opposed to cutting service provision to balance budgets.

In particular, there was an aspiration that leisure services ultimately reach a breakeven point, i.e. no public subsidy whilst improving the overall health and well-being of people within the communities including physical, mental and social health.

Pembrokeshire Context

Located in south-west Wales, Pembrokeshire is a predominantly rural County, with a strong maritime influence and has a history of development based
on agriculture, tourism, defence, energy and port activities centred on the Milford Haven Waterway.

Pembrokeshire offers a vast range of outdoor and natural leisure attractions/activities, as well as a host of built provision.

There is significant opportunity to participate in a wide range of water-based sports and activities, as well as walking, hiking, running, climbing, cycling,
triathlon, trail walking, and coasteering, using the National Park, the beach and coastal areas, and the inland open space.

There is also a lot of provision of sport and physical activity through the club and wider third sector, including golf, rugby, cricket, football and athletics.
The last few years in particular have seen significant growth in participation in Ironman, Triathlon and cycling events.

The summer influx of tourists to Pembrokeshire is staggering. For example, the population of Tenby alone increases from 5k to 70k during the summer season.

Pembrokeshire County is part of the 21st Century Schools Programme in Wales; this means that a number of new schools/school facilities are being funded in the County. This Leisure Strategy needed to ensure that physical activity opportunities were complementary as opposed to competitive.

Key Findings

30 key issues were presented to PCC comprising a number of key areas including:

  • PCC Leisure Facilities
  • Resources
  • Digitalisation
  • Operational Delivery
  • Demographic Factors
  • Tourism and the Great Outdoors
  • Partnerships

Key Opportunities

SLL identified a number of key opportunities summarised as:

  1. Cost reduction
  2. Income generation
  3. Service improvement

The Leisure Strategy includes 13 objectives across four aims:

To provide excellent quality facilities and services

To create an inclusive leisure service, removing barriers that prevent people accessing leisure services

To maximise efficiency, grow participation and revenue to ensure a sustainable future

To develop and deliver services which improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of our users

The future vision for Pembrokeshire:

“By 2028 we will have inspired our communities to be the most active in Wales”

Mission Statement for Pembrokeshire:

Exist to provide a broad range of high quality, inclusive, fun and engaging Leisure Services which boost the physical, social, and emotional health and well-being of users.

Take active steps to engage with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to ensure that everybody in Pembrokeshire can benefit.

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