Development of the sports facilities strategy

The need for a clear and prioritised framework for future investment in sports facility provision is particularly critical given the likely need for additional provision as a result of population growth in the District, and specifically in the St Neots area, and the need for ongoing investment in the existing infrastructure. Given the nature of the District, which is a combination of the four main towns of Huntingdon, Ramsey, St Neots and St Ives, smaller villages and more rural areas there is also a need to ensure that sports facilities are accessible throughout the District.

The development of the sports facilities strategy also provides the opportunity to assess the condition of existing provision, and whether it is appropriate to meet local needs and demand and to ensure that potential new provision helps to address any current deficiencies – quantitative or qualitative. In addition, there is a need to ensure that the appropriate quantity and quality of facilities are provided to facilitate increased participation (Government agenda), and improve the health of the local community.

There are two main factors which are particularly relevant to the future provision of sports facilities; these are the future implementation of the Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF) in the District, and the significant area of population growth around St Neots. This strategy will be used to guide and inform the nature and extent of resources, financial and operational, which are needed to ensure that Huntingdonshire has up to date, fit for purpose, accessible and welcoming sports facilities for the existing community, people working in, or visiting the District, and any new residents in the District.

The Sports Facilities Strategy for Huntingdonshire ‘fits’ within the strategic framework for planning for future provision as follows: Creating Active Places (Regional Framework) Cambridgeshire County Sports Facilities Strategy (County Framework) Huntingdonshire Sports Facilities Strategy (local priorities responding to local needs and issues) Strategy Scope The focus of this strategy is indoor sports facilities (swimming pools, sports halls, health and fitness facilities, indoor bowls), and Artificial Turf Pitches (ATPs).

The Strategy considers existing and planned facilities incorporating: • • • • Local authority leisure centres Voluntary sector sports clubs Private sector facilities Secondary schools that will be re-built or re-furbished under PFI or the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme It is important to stress that this strategy focuses on community sports facility provision and the needs for provision both now and into the future. The District also has a significant sporting infrastructure which includes provision for activities such as golf, sailing etc, and a large number of individual sports clubs.

These are very important to facilitate increased participation, and encourage people to become involved in activity on a regular basis. Strategy Drivers The key drivers for the Strategy are: • • The need to plan strategically and ensure sustainability of future provision The Local Development Framework (LDF), and Supplementary Planning Documents setting out expectations for S106 contributions from developers towards current and future sports facility provision i Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY • • • • • The priorities and objectives for the Sustainable Community Strategy The need to identify what provision is needed in St Neots given the significant population increases planned for this area of the District The need to identify how best to provide for those living in rural areas, where accessibility to sports facilities is more limited The need to increase participation at local level Opportunities for partnerships – Building Schools for the Future (BSF) – Schools, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), Sports Clubs etc.

N. B The feedback from NGBs reflects that gained in the development of ‘Creating Active Places’ and the Cambridgeshire County Strategy.

This approach to the future strategic planning of sports facilities will continue to be important for the District given a number of significant factors at local level, such as: PARTICIPATION LEVELS • The current high levels of participation in sport and physical activity in the District – over 50% of all Huntingdonshire residents aged 16+ participate in physical activity (participation is higher in Huntingdonshire than in England) • The Hinchingbrooke School Sports Partnership is now established, and working towards the targets set for the provision of 2 hours of PE for children under 16 plus 2/3 hours of participation in after school sports and physical activity HEALTH CHALLENGES • Relatively high incidences of cancer • Growing incidence of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) •

Relatively high numbers of people smoking (1 in 5) • The rate of admissions to hospital with alcohol specific conditions is less than the England average • The need to ensure that obesity, especially amongst young people, reduces • The opportunity to harness the social aspects of sport and physical activity to address issues f social isolation • The opportunity for active participation to contribute to maintaining higher life expectancy for the District’s population than the England average PLANNING ISSUES • The need to ensure investment in future provision of sports facilities, and the potential to achieve this through identification of priorities which inform the Local Development Framework (LDF) POPULATION GROWTH • Significant growth in population in and around St Neots, to the south of the District • The need to develop Local Standards of provision to inform and guide future S106 contributions from developers District Profile Huntingdonshire is a rural area with four main settlements. Although no more than 12 miles apart in terms of distance, the nature of the district means that accessibility to community provision, including sports facilities, is a challenge. Current sports facility provision is situated in each of the main settlements to overcome this issue.

There is a need to consider how those living in the rural areas can best be provided with participative opportunities. Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 ii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The District is relatively affluent, but has small pockets of deprivation. There are high levels of employment and average wages are higher than other parts of the county, although some younger people lack formal qualifications. Life expectancy is high, and compared to some of the other more rural and urban areas, there are fewer serious health issues, with the exception of a growing incidence of CHD, and relatively high rates of cancer, experienced by the population.

The District has a large younger population, and a high proportion of 30-44 year olds; this profile is important for sports provision, as individuals tend to be more active when younger. Based on the Active People Survey (Sport England December 2006), adult (ie those aged over 16 years) participation rates in sport and physical activity are higher than the rates at national level. The level of participation relates to taking part in 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 times a week. Sports facility provision in the District is well thought of (comment in Huntingdonshire Cultural Strategy 2007), but there is a continuing need for capital investment just to maintain the Council’s existing five leisure centres.

There are potential partnership opportunities for new provision through the education sector, and also linked to the growth agenda. Current and Future Demand – Supply and Demand Analysis It is important to stress that this assessment is based on national models which identify the level of provision needed for a current and future level of population ie what level and type of sports facility provision is needed to provide adequately for a specific number of people. To make this more relevant at local level, the modeling then identifies the actual level of accessible sports facility provision ie that which is available on a pay and play basis; this highlights the fact that there are built facilities in the District that are not fully accessible for community use.

This situation, which is common across the UK would suggest that the way forward is about a combination of opening up existing sports facilities to ensure there is greater community access, and developing new facilities where appropriate, but particularly to address the District’s growth agenda eg in the St Neot’s area. Current Demand Table 1 Supply and Demand Analysis 2008 Facility Type Swimming Pools Sports Halls (4 badminton court size) Required Level of Supply (based on 2007 population of 168,200 (2004 based population Government Actuary Department data, published October 2007) 1756. 67 sq m Current Level of Provision Current Level of Accessible Provision (based on accessibility for pay and play usage) 688 sq m Surplus (+)/Deficit (_) of accessible provision (based on 212 sq m being 1 x 4 lane x 25m pool) -1068. 67 sq m (equivalent to 5. 1 x 4 lane x 25m pools) – 32. 3 (equivalent to 8 x 4 badminton court sports halls) N.

B 3 court halls at Sawtry and Ramsey Leisure Centres not included in above figure) – 223 stations +5 -3 938 sq m (of 25m x 4 lane pools and above) 35 courts (4 badminton court halls and above) 48. 26 badminton courts 16 badminton courts (4 + courts) Fitness Stations Indoor Bowls All weather turf pitches (ATPs) 433 stations (based on 12% participation rate (FIA)) 9. 28 rinks 7 (based on 1 ATP :25,000 population) 561 14 rinks 4 210 stations 14 4 Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 iii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Impact of Increased Population and Participation Table 1 above illustrates the current supply and demand analysis for Huntingdonshire.

In terms of strategic planning for future provision of sports facilities, it is important to consider the impact of both an increased population, and increased participation (modeled at a 13 %overall increase, ie ! % per annum, over the life of the strategy). Table 2 overleaf models the impact of both increased population and increased participation on demand for facility provision. Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 iv EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Table 2 Increased Population (to 2021) and Participation Impact Facility Type Required Level of Supply by 2021 (based on 2021 population of 188,400 (2004 based population Government Actuary Department data, published October 2007)) 2,066. 02 sq m (9. 7 x 4 lane x 25m pools (212 sq m)) 56. 5 badminton courts (14. 1 x 4 badminton court sports halls) 678 stations 10. 4 8 Current Level of Provision (2007) Current Level of Accessible Provision (based on accessibility for pay and play usage) 688 sq m (of 25m x 4 lane pools and above) 16 badminton courts (4 + courts) Impact of 13 % increase in Participation over the life of the strategy i. e. to 2021, (based on 2007 population) in terms of facility requirements 2,211. 63 sq m (10. 43 x 4 lane x 25m pools (212 sq m)) 60. 75 badminton courts (equivalent to 15. 2 sports halls of 4 badminton court size) 468 (based on a 0. 5% increase year on year, which is the current trend) +4 rinks – 7. 7

Swimming Pools Sports Halls (4 badminton court size) Fitness Stations Indoor Bowls ATPs 938 sq m (of 25m x 4 lane pools and above) 35 courts (4 badminton court halls and above) 561 14 rinks 4 210 stations 14 4 Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 v EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Analysis of Supply and Demand Swimming Pools It is clear that in relation to current demand for sports facilities, there is an existing deficiency in provision of swimming pools, sports halls, fitness stations, and ATPs when supply and demand modeling is based on accessibility of facilities. However, the overall deficit in terms of current ie 2008 swimming pool provision (-1,068. 67 sq m/5. x 4 lane x 25m pools) is not actually a true reflection of the existing swimming provision in Huntingdonshire District, given that 2 of the main public pools are excluded from the SFC modelling on the basis that they are not 25m in length. The pools at Sawtry Leisure Centre and Ramsey Leisure Centres are only 20m in length. In addition, the learner pool at St Neots Leisure Centre is only 20m long. The impact of including this water space in the supply and demand assessment reduces the deficit to 578. 67 sq m (2. 7 4 lane x 25m pools) in 2008, and 858. 19 sq m (4. 1 4 lane x 25m pools) by 2021. Despite the fact that the three pools above are less than 20m in length, they provide very important and well-used facilities for the local community, and therefore should be adequately reflected in assessing current supply of swimming pools.

The reduction in deficit is also important as this facilitates consideration of the extensive commercial pool provision in the District, which, while not being accessible to many of the population because there is a requirement to pay a membership fee, quite obviously does provide for a percentage of the local community, who can, or who choose to, afford this membership fee. Therefore in relation to the current level of provision, it is considered that the deficit of 5. 1 4 lane x 25m pools (which equates to 2. 5 8 lane x 25m pools) is adequately addressed by other local provision of water space. This is through the commercial facilities, and also swimming pools at three other local schools – Godmanchester, Hinchingbrooke, and Kimbolton.

It is also important to stress that the existing HDC pools do not currently operate at full capacity; this is due to a number of factors including accessibility, quality and condition. Whilst dual-use facilities provide significant potential for effective operational management because they are used for both curriculum delivery and community use, access is restricted during the day to the community. This means that potential users may choose to access other provision they know is open, or they may not swim at all. A further factor is that dual-use facilities have intensive use because they are used for curriculum delivery and community use and therefore over time this can impact on their quality and condition.

Although there are significant pockets of deprivation in the District, Huntingdonshire is a relatively affluent area which is reflected by the level of commercial sports facility provision in the towns; given the possible perceived accessibility issues with HDC facilities local residents may be choosing to swim at these facilities, or elsewhere, rather than in HDC facilities. Having examined the possible reasons for the fact that HDC swimming pools do not currently operate at full capacity, it is critical to stress that this current position does not provide a reason not to provide the level of water space required in the District in the future.

In terms of future deficits in water space, it is predominantly the growth in population, and specifically that around the St Neots area, that increases demand, and therefore demonstrates a deficit. If the same argument is applied as above, the actual deficit in future supply of water space is (6. 5 4 lane x 25m pool – 5. 1 4 lane x 25m pool), which equates to 1. 4 of a 4 lane x 25m pool. On this basis, it is suggested that there will be a need to provide 1 additional 6 lane x 25m pool, possibly on the site of the new secondary school to be developed in St Neots, to cater for the growth in population. It is important to state that the supply and demand modelling above is based on a level of supply to provide for a number of people; whilst adult participation rates are high in the District existing pools are ot always full to capacity, which indicates that people take part in a range of activities other than swimming. However, the assessment of supply and demand clearly shows that pay and play accessibility is an issue in relation to quality water space in the District, and this is likely to be exacerbated by the growth in population. Demand for swimming will increase, and there will be a need for additional provision in St Neots by 2021. Given the specific location of the majority of the District’s future growth ie east of the railway line in St Neot’s, there is potential to consider the provision of a new swimming pool alongside other community facilities.

Given the scale of the residential development, it is likely that there will be a new secondary school in this area and co-location (not dual-use) of a swimming facility on the same site may provide a practical option for future provision. Co-location is suggested to address some of the previously identified factors associated with accessibility to dual-use provision. Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 vi EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Sports Halls There is almost sufficient actual sports hall in the District at the present time; the issue is that all existing facilities are not available on a pay and play basis (only 16 of the total existing 49 courts (all courts in the District) are available for pay and play access).

Opening up community pay and play access at existing facilities is a priority, before any additional facilities are built. In 2008, there would be no deficit in sports hall provision if if accessibility is improved at those facilities where community access is currently limited, and all existing courts were available for pay and play access.. By 2021, this sufficiency has decreased to 7. 75 courts ie nearly 2 x 4 badminton court sports hall, if it is again assumed that existing hall accessibility is improved, and all courts in the District are accessible for pay and play usage. The provision of two additional sports halls, one, potentially at St Neots, would be required to address this deficit. Given the comments from the clubs in relation to ccessing existing public sports hall provision, and the existing deficit in accessible provision, there is a need to retain existing levels of sports hall in the District, and indeed seek to open up additional facilities. The proposals to extend fitness suites at Huntingdon and St Neots Leisure Centres will actually reduce existing accessible pay and play sports hall provision, and therefore increase the identified deficit moving forward. Health and Fitness In terms of fitness stations, there are currently sufficient fitness stations in the District, across all providers to meet community demand; the same is true by 2021. It is the accessibility to this provision that is the critical issue, given that a significant level of existing facilities is operated commercially.

However, there are also public facilities operated by HDC and other facilities available on Kimbolton and Hinchingbrooke Schools; the challenge is to ensure that these facilities operate pricing policies which are inclusive, whilst reflecting the need to levy a membership fee to facilitate health and safety controls in terms of access. Only members who have passed an induction are allowed to use fitness facilities. Indoor Bowls There is sufficient current supply of indoor bowls rinks to meet both current and future need (to 2021). Current provision is located centrally in Huntingdon and in St Neots and is within 20-30 minutes drivetime of the rest of the District. ATPs

There is a need to provide additional ATPs to meet both current and future demand. additional facilities are required in the District now, which should be full size, floodlit, and be either sand based (principally for hockey, given that there is a general lack of such surfaces on the outskirts of Cambridge, which means the City is inundated with demand for hockey, which it currently struggles to accommodate), or if demand for additional football can be demonstrated, 3G. By 2021 there is a need for 4 additional ATP facilities. Given that there are three planned developments of new ATP facilities in the next 12 months in the District, in reality there will be a deficit of just one ATP by 2021. In developing new ATP provision, it will be important to address the current spatial deficiencies of this type of facility in the north of the District. The implementation of BSF may provide the opportunity to address this deficit in eg Sawtry.

Key Issues and Challenges Based on the analysis of current provision, and the district context, there are a number of emerging key issues and challenges to be considered in developing the Huntingdonshire Sports Facilities Strategy. These include: • • Current deficits in provision, which will only increase as the local population increases; increasing participation will also have an impact on the demand for supply of swimming, sports hall and fitness station provision which is already insufficient, due to both quantitative and accessibility deficiencies. Facility condition – ongoing investment in the existing HDC facilities to maintain and improve provision.

Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 vii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY • • • • • • Facility Design – the design of some existing facilities could be improved to meet the needs of the local population, and specifically the needs of users with a disability. It is also important to consider alternative forms of provision, or perhaps less traditional type facilities, particularly to appeal to younger participants, where participation rates are lower in the District. Population Growth – this rapid growth over the next few years will increase the demand levels for sports facilities, particularly in and around St Neots.

Drive to increase participation – given the current Government targets for increasing participation in sport and physical activity, and the existing high activity rates in the District, the continued provision of accessible, fit for purpose and quality sports facilities is a clear priority for HDC and its stakeholder partners Increasing Participation amongst Younger People ie 16-34 years – given that this group has low levels of active participation in sport and physical activity, it is important to ensure that future provision reflects, and responds to, their needs Accessibility eg school facilities, daytime – pools, sports halls; it is outside the control of HDC to open up school sites for community use.

This approach needs to be undertaken in partnership with the County Council. Commercial sector provision – there is a significant level of commercial health and fitness provision in the District, some of which is of a better quality than the public sector facilities, however, it is not always accessible to those more deprived communities due to the cost of membership fees Strategic Recommendations Based on the analysis and findings of the sports facility strategy, the following recommendations are made in terms of future sports facility provision in the District: Recommendation 1 The priorities for future sports facility provision are accepted as: Current Needs • • • • The theoretical deficiency in accessible water space; this can be addressed by increasing access to existing pool facilities on education sites and those operated commercially The deficiency in accessible sports hall provision; this could be addressed by opening up and extending community pay and play access to existing facilities, predominantly on school sites. The future implementation of BSF may also be an important factor in this in the future. The need to retain, not lose existing sports hall space operated through the public sector. The need to ensure fitness provision is accessible ie affordable, through appropriate partnerships with the commercial sector, pricing and programming policies The provision of additional ATPs (3 planned) and specifically the deficit of this type of facility in the north of the District. Future Needs • • • • • • • •

The theoretical deficiency in accessible water space; this can be addressed by increasing access to existing pool facilities on education sites and those operated commercially The deficiency in accessible sports hall provision; this could be addressed by opening up and extending community pay and play access to existing facilities, predominantly on school sites. The future implementation of BSF may also be an important factor in this in the future. The need to ensure fitness provision is accessible ie affordable, through appropriate partnerships with the commercial sector, pricing and programming policies The provision of 1 additional ATP and specifically the deficit of this type of facility in the north of the District. The need for 1 additional swimming pool in the St Neots area as a result of significant population growth.

Facility condition – ongoing investment in the existing HDC facilities to maintain and improve provision. Facility Design – the design of some existing facilities could be improved to meet the needs of the local population, and specifically the needs of disability users. Population Growth – this rapid growth over the next few years will increase the demand levels for sports facilities, particularly in and around St Neots. There are a number of options to consider in addressing the need for new sports facilities in St Neots including their co-location with other community provision eg a new secondary school. viii Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY • • •

Drive to increase participation – given the current Government targets for increasing participation in sport and physical activity, and the existing high inactivity rates in the District, the continued provision of accessible, fit for purpose and quality sports facilities is a clear priority for HDC and its stakeholder partners Accessibility eg school facilities, daytime – pools, sports halls Commercial sector provision – there is a significant level of commercial health and fitness provision in the District, some of which is of a better quality than the public sector facilities, however, it is not always accessible to those more deprived communities due to cost Recommendation 2 – Increasing Access Given that there are actually sufficient sports hall facilities in the District to meet demand, but they are not all accessible, the option of negotiating increased community access should also be considered as a priority. Recommendation 3 – BSF

Given the identified deficiencies in pay and play accessible sports facility provision across the District it is recommended that opportunities for partnership with BSF, FE/HE and other strategic partners are supported by HDC to maximise participation opportunities for the Huntingdonshire community. The opportunities through BSF are particularly important for the north of the District. Recommendation 4 – Local Standards The following Local Standards for future core community sports facility provision are adopted by HDC: Quantity Table 3 Local Standards of Provision FACILITY TYPE Sports Hall (4 badminton Court) Swimming Pool (4 lane x 25m) Fitness Stations(20+ gym) Indoor Bowls ATPs Local Standards of Provision per 1000 population 51. 20 sq m 10. 96 sq m 3. 6 stations 0. 05 rink 0. 04 ATPs (based on 1 pitch (100m x 64m per 25,000 population) Quality

The future standard of provision for new facilities should be: • • • • • • • The sports facilities are to be designed to a minimum playing standard of ‘fit for purpose’ depending on the terminology of the various national governing sporting bodies and Sport England Guidance. External elevations to utilise high quality, low maintenance finishes, and be sympathetic to the surrounding environment. Finishes being robust and suitable for location and use. Building fabric and services to be cost effective with low maintenance. First major maintenance to structure to be 50 years. Life expectancy of materials used to external elevations to be 25 years minimum (excluding routine maintenance).

Sustainable, being responsible to environmental issues in terms of the use of energy and non-sustainable resources and the control of pollution. Use of environmentally friendly and sustainable building services and building materials to be maximised. Materials to be recyclable where possible. Services to be essentially economic and environmentally friendly, which allow cost in use to be minimised. The use of natural ventilation to be maximised. Full life cycle cost analysis will be required when considering the building fabric and services Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 ix EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Accessibility •

New sports facility provision should be located within a 20 minute walk time of its immediate catchment area, and where possible, should be linked to existing community provision eg education site All sports facility provision should be within a 20 minute drive time of its surrounding catchment area, and where possible and appropriate, depending on the nature of provision, should be located adjacent to other community provision, to facilitate access and reduce the overall need for travel around the District Recommendation 5 – Retention of Sports Hall Space Given the lack of accessible sports hall provision in the District, it is recommended that careful consideration be given to reducing the available pay and play space further, unless other arrangements are made to increase access at other existing facilities. Recommendation 6 – Partnership It is recommended that HDC seek to work in partnership wherever possible to address the identified deficiencies in sports facility provision. Key partners at local level will be education, local sports clubs, health services, NGBs and programmes such as BSF.

This approach reflects HDC’s role as an enabler at local level. Recommendation 7 – St Neots Area The opportunities and options for delivering new sports facilities in the growth area around St Neots need to be carefully considered, to ensure new facilities complement and do not compete with, existing HDC provision. HDC should seek to work in partnership, particularly with education, in the development of new sports facilities to facilitate co-located provision at the heart of the new community. Funding options to deliver the new facilities include growth area funding, S106, HDC capital, a private sector partnership and potentially external grant support.

Recommendation 8 – Participation in Sport and Physical Activity The provision of opportunities for participation in sport and physical activity across the District should be supported as a key priority given its potential to contribute positively to improved health, reduced obesity and social inclusion. Given the increasing issue of CHD, youth obesity, and the high level of smoking in the District, the role that active participation can play in improving health is critical. Appropriate resources should continue to be made available to improve awareness of provision, increase accessibility and deliver sport development programmes to increase and retain participation. Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Executive Summary March 2008 x SECTION I – INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Introduction 1. Strategic Leisure Limited (Strategic Leisure) was appointed by Sport England East in June 07 to develop a County Sports Facility Strategy for Cambridgeshire, covering Peterborough City Council, Huntingdonshire District (parts of) and Fenland District. SLL was asked to develop this work given the research and analysis undertaken to prepare the regional Sports Facilities Strategy (‘Creating Active Places’), which has informed this strategy.

This draft strategy covers the analysis and findings relating to Huntingdonshire District sports facility provision. This strategy will be incorporated into the final County Sports Facility Strategy, together with the analysis for Peterborough and Fenland, and the update of the Cambridgeshire Horizons Report (2006) (Major Sports Facilities Strategy). 1. 2 1. 3 Rationale for the Huntingdonshire Sports Facilities Strategy 1. Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) identified the need for a sports facility strategy to assist in guiding the future provision of a range of sports facilities in the District. The need for a clear and prioritised framework for future investment in sports facility provision is particularly critical given the likely need for additional provision as a result of population growth in the District, and specifically in the St Neots area, and the need for ongoing investment in the existing infrastructure. The development of the sports facilities strategy also provides the opportunity to assess the condition of existing provision, and whether it is appropriate to meet local needs and demand and to ensure that potential new provision helps to address any current deficiencies – quantitative or qualitative.

In addition, there is a need to ensure that the appropriate quantity and quality of facilities are provided to facilitate increased participation (Government agenda), and improve the health of the local community. It is important to stress that this strategy focuses on community sports facility provision and the needs for provision both now and into the future. The District also has a significant sporting infrastructure which includes provision for activities such as golf, sailing etc, and a large number of individual sports clubs. These are very important to facilitate increased participation, and encourage people to become involved in activity on a regular basis.

Given the nature of the District, which is a combination of the four main towns of Huntingdon, Ramsey, St Neots and St Ives, smaller villages and more rural areas there is also a need to ensure that sports facilities are accessible throughout the District. There are two main factors which are particularly relevant to the future provision of sports facilities; these are the future implementation of the Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF) in the District, and the significant area of population growth around St Neots. This strategy will be used to guide and inform the nature and extent of resources, financial and operational, which are needed to ensure that Huntingdonshire has up to date, fit for purpose, accessible and welcoming sports facilities for the existing community, people working in, or visiting the District, and any new residents in the District. 1. 5 1. 1. 7 1. 8 1. 9 1. 10 Strategy Scope 1. 11 1. 12 The focus of this strategy is indoor sports facilities (swimming pools, sports halls, health and fitness facilities, indoor bowls), and Artificial Turf Pitches (ATPs). .

The Strategy considers existing and planned facilities incorporating: • • • Local authority leisure centres Voluntary sector sports clubs Private sector facilities Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 1 SECTION I – INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND • Secondary schools that will be/are being re-built or re-furbished under PFI or the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme Strategy Drivers 1. 3 The key drivers for the Strategy are: • • • • • • • The need to plan strategically and ensure sustainability of future provision The Local Development Framework (LDF), and Supplementary Planning Documents setting out expectations for S106 contributions from developers towards current and future sports facility provision The priorities and objectives for the Sustainable Community Strategy The need to identify what provision is needed in St Neots given the significant population increases planned for this area of the District

The need to identify how best to provide for those living in rural areas, where accessibility to sports facilities is more limited The need to increase participation at local level Opportunities for partnerships – Building Schools for the Future (BSF) – Schools, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), Sports Clubs etc. N. B The feedback from NGBs reflects that gained in the development of ‘Creating Active Places’ and the Cambridgeshire County Strategy. 1. 4 This approach to the future strategic planning of sports facilities will continue to be important for the District given a number of significant factors at local level, such as: PARTICIPATION LEVELS • The current high levels of participation in sport and physical activity in the District – over 50% of all Huntingdonshire residents aged 16+ participate in physical activity (participation is higher in Huntingdonshire than in England) • The Hinchingbrooke School Sports Partnership is now established, and working towards the targets set for the provision of 2 hours of PE for children under 16 plus 2/3 hours of participation in after school sports and physical activity HEALTH CHALLENGES • Relatively high incidences of cancer • Growing incidence of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) • Relatively high numbers of people smoking (1 in 5) • The rate of admissions to hospital with alcohol specific conditions is less than the England average •

The need to ensure hat obesity, especially amongst young people, reduces • The opportunity to harness the social aspects of sport and physical activity to address issues of social isolation • The opportunity for active participation to contribute to maintaining higher life expectancy for the District’s population than the England average POPULATION GROWTH • Significant growth in population in and around St Neots, to the south of the District Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 2 SECTION I – INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND PLANNING ISSUES • The need to ensure investment in future provision of sports facilities, and the potential to achieve this through identification of priorities which inform the Local Development Framework (LDF) The need to develop Local Standards of provision to inform and guide future S106 contributions from developers Huntingdonshire District – A Profile 1. 15 Huntingdonshire is a rural area of nearly 350 sq miles and is located within the County of Cambridgeshire. Historically it was a county in its own right. The population is around 168,200 with half living in the four market towns of Huntingdon (population 19,910), St Neots (population 26,230), St Ives (population 15,860) and Ramsey (population 6,070), with the remaining residents distributed within key settlements and rural villages. The District has two rivers running through it, the River Great Ouse through the market towns (except Ramsey) and the River Nene to the north.

The Districts market towns and villages reflect the areas history associated with both Roman and Anglo Saxon settlements. The District has excellent transport links to the A1 and A14, which in turn links to the M1, M11, and M6. The District has a high level of out-commuting at around 35%. The council along with other districts, county council, EEDA and GO East is part of the local ‘infrastructure partnership’ to deliver the Government’s sustainable communities plan in the Cambridge sub region. Huntingdonshire’s current strategies look at addressing the negative effects of isolation ensuring that all residents, irrespective of their location, can access culture and cultural services.

The majority of housing and economic growth has been, and will continue to be, located within the district’s largest towns of Huntingdon and St Neots, although HDC has also planned development in other market towns such as St Ives and Ramsey. 1. 16 1. 17 1. 18 1. 19 1. 20 Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 3 SECTION I – INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1. 21 The map below shows the District and its main population settlements: Summary 1. 22 Huntingdonshire is a rural area with four main settlements. Although no more than 12 miles apart in terms of distance, the nature of the district means that accessibility to community provision, including sports facilities, is a challenge.

Current sports facility provision is situated in each of the main settlements to overcome this issue. There is a need to consider how those living in the rural areas can best be provided with participative opportunities. Sports facility provision in the District is well thought of (comment in Huntingdonshire Cultural Strategy 2007), but there is a continuing need for capital investment just to maintain the Council’s existing five leisure centres. There are potential partnership opportunities for new provision through the education sector, and also linked to the growth agenda. 4 1. 23 Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 SECTION II –STRATEGIC CONTEXT National Context 2. The national context which informs the overall need for a strategic approach to the future planning of sports facilities at local level is summarised in Table 1, Appendix 3; this demonstrates the Government priorities in relation to health, physical activity and increasing participation. Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 5 SECTION II –STRATEGIC CONTEXT Local Context Review of Strategic Documents 2. 2 The local context for the development of the sports facility strategy is summarised below. Given the clear focus on improving health and overall quality of life in the District, there is potential for provision of sport and physical activity to play a key role in contributing to the achievement of these local objectives.

Local Authority Huntingdonshire District Council Strategic Document Huntingdonshire“Growing successCorporate Plan 2007/8” Vision / Main Aim(s): The Council’s Vision is for Huntingdonshire to become a place where future generations have a good quality of life and enjoy: • Continued economic success • Opportunities for all • An environment that is protected and improved The Council’s aims for the community are: • • • • • • A clean, green and attractive place Housing that meets the local need Safe, vibrant and inclusive communities Healthy living Access to services and transport A strong diverse economy Key Priorities Priorities stemming from these aims: Community: • • • • • • • Enable provision of affordable housing Achieve low level of homelessness Lower carbon emissions Improve access to Council services Promote healthy lifestyle choice Promote development opportunities in and around market towns Enhance public, community and specialist transport into and around the market towns Other Relevant Info Council: • • • • • Make performance management more effective and transparent Re-balance saving and spending to ensure resources are available to achieve council priorities Reduce number of car journeys to work by employees Build new operations centre and headquarters Be an employer people want to work for.

The Council’s Corporate Aims are: • Improve systems and practices • Learn and develop • Maintain sound finances Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 6 SECTION II –STRATEGIC CONTEXT Local Authority Huntingdonshire District Council Strategic Document Open Space, Sport & Recreation Needs Assessment & Audit (August 2006) Vision / Main Aim(s): Section 7 – Outdoor Sports Key Priorities Overview of findings:• Overall, the most common travel method for visiting outdoor sports facilities is walking (50. 1%), followed by car 38. 8%. The most frequent travel time to the facility was between five and ten minutes (37%), followed by between 11 and 14 minutes (29%).

Consultation highlights that there is a relatively even distribution of outdoor sports facilities across the district, with a large proportion owned and managed by Parish Councils. The majority of use of the outdoor sports facilities within Huntingdonshire District is by formal clubs, and there is relatively little casual use of pitches. Provision of tennis and bowls within Huntingdonshire is predominately focused around the club structure, with most facilities in club ownership or leased to clubs. Consultation suggests that access to training facilities is a key issues, with only limited slots available at synthetic pitches for clubs wishing to train midweek.

Other Relevant Info The Cambridge sub-region is the fastest growing area in the country. This significant increase in population will have far reaching consequences and will place demands on infrastructure and capacity of local services e. g. health services, transport and leisure facilities. • • • • Section 8 – Playing Pitch Strategy The key areas of this part of the study included:• Analysing the current level of pitch Overall, the research methods outlined identified 237 playing pitches in the District (all known public, private, school and other pitches). They compromise: • 88 adult football pitches Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 7 SECTION II –STRATEGIC CONTEXT

Local Authority Strategic Document Vision / Main Aim(s): provision within the District • Assisting the Council in meeting playing pitch requirements • Providing information for decision-making and future development proposals All calculations covered the following sports – association football, rugby, cricket, and hockey Key Priorities • 54 junior football pitches • 14 mini soccer pitches • 43 cricket pitches • 7 adult rugby pitches • 7 junior rugby pitches • 1 junior rugby league pitch • 7 adult grass hockey pitches • 19 synthetic turf pitches Research showed that Huntingdonshire has a good number of football, cricket and hockey pitches for formal adult use in comparison to the national average. Huntingdonshire Cultural Strategy 2007 2010 To enhance the quality of life and ensure that all of Huntingdonshire’s residents have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of highquality, sustainable cultural activities that fully reflect the diverse needs of the district THEME 1 Improve access to culture and leisure opportunities THEME 2 Develop and improve life-long learning THEME 3 Develop vibrant communities which are safer, healthier, cohesive and economically sustainable Other Relevant Info

Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 8 SECTION II –STRATEGIC CONTEXT Local Demographic Profile 2. 2 A review of local demographics is important to: • • • 2. 3 Assess whether local facilities, often built some time ago, are located in the right place in relation to key population settlements Identify where there is likely to be population growth and additional demand for facilities Review the local population profile to identify particular inequalities e. g. health within Huntingdonshire It is also important to consider the demographic make up of the District as key demographic and socio-economic characteristics are known to influence demand characteristics.

For example certain age-groups are known to register higher participation rates in a number of sport and leisure activities; deprived communities often experience issues relating to access to services and opportunities; cultural backgrounds may result in some passive and active recreation pursuits being favoured over others; car ownership levels can impact on the range of facilities that can be accessed. A brief review of the key demographics (Source Census 2001 data) for the area shows that: Overall population: According to 2004 based population data (Government Actuary Department (GAD)) published in October 2007, the 2007 population for the District is 168,200, increasing to 188,400 by 2021.

The GAD figures have been used as the basis for supply and demand modelling to inform the sports facilities strategy. The age structure of Huntingdonshire’s population is very similar to the averages for England in terms of the proportion of the population aged between 20 and 50 years. Huntingdonshire has a higher proportion of children, teenagers and adults aged 0-14, and 30-54 and a lower proportion of those aged 54 and over. 24. 4% of the population are aged between 30-44. Ethnicity. Huntingdonshire’s ethnic mix is the same as the national average with some 97% describing themselves as white. The next largest ethnic group (2. 8%) in Huntingdonshire is from black and minority ethnic groups (BME). Deprivation Indices.

Huntingdonshire District is a predominantly prosperous area, benefiting from higher than average earnings, low unemployment and crime. However, the 2007 Indices of Deprivation show that of the 20% most deprived wards in Cambridgeshire, 11 are now in Huntingdonshire. These are Super Output Areas of which the most severe area of deprivation is Huntingdon North ward. The population density in Huntingdonshire is lower than the England average of 3. 87 (Office for National Statistics (ONS) data for 2005). This reflects the rural aspect of the area. 2. 4 2. 5 2. 6 2. 7 2. 8 2. 9 2. 10 Car Ownership –4% more households in the District have access to 2 or more cars than the England average. This very high rate reflects the rural nature of the District.

Education – Despite the District’s relative prosperity, in 2004 15% of school leavers left education with no qualifications; 25% of 16-74 year olds in the District have no formal qualifications. Department of Health – Local Authority Profile 2. 11 Local authority health profiles are designed to show the health of people in each local authority area, and include comparisons with other similar populations. Profiles are produced by Public Health Observatories and are updated annually. With other local information e. g. Community Plans, Local Area Agreements, these profiles demonstrate where action can be taken to improve people’s health and reduce inequalities.

Key points extracted from the 2007 profiles covering Cambridgeshire include: Huntingdonshire • • It is estimated that in Huntingdonshire 1 adult in 4 eats healthily and 1 in 6 binge drinks. Although estimated smoking rates are below average, 1 adult in 5 still smokes Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average 2. 12 Huntingdonshire District Sports Facility Strategy Draft Report March 2008 9 SECTION II –STRATEGIC CONTEXT • • • • Rates of early deaths from cancer are similar to those in England but have shown no improvement in trends over the last 4 years The rate of admission to hospital with alcohol specific conditions is lower than the England average CHD is a growing problem in the District Obesity levels, particularly amongst young people are also a growing issue Summary 2. 3 Huntingdonshire District is relatively affluent, but has small pockets of deprivation. There are high levels of employment and average wages are higher than other parts of the county, although some younger people lack formal qualifications. Life expectancy is high, and compared to some of the other more rural and urban areas, there are fewer serious health issues, with the exception of a growing incidence of CHD, and relatively high rates of cancer, experienced by the population. The District has a large younger population, and a high proportion of 30-44 year olds; this profile is important for sports provision, as individuals tend to be more active when younger.