A Parish Council Sub-committee, with much outside asistance, met last year to develop plans
for a new Leisure Facility in the village. A more detailed description of this project was given
on the Leisure Facility news page, dated 21 November 2000. You can still read it.
Sport Consultants Knight, Kavanagh & Page reported to the Parish Council that there was
insufficient management/infrastructure for sport and leisure in general and too low a level of current
activity or demand to give any chance of success to a bid for Lottery funding (Sport England) in
the short term.
In addition Broughton Astley is located quite close to a number of other sport or leisure facilities.
It does not seem possible to generate confidence at this time that a new Leisure Facility in Broughton
Astley itself would have sufficient users and hence sufficient income to justify its capital cost and
to sustain its existence.
I have a copy of the report dated February 2001 and while there may have been some additional
data supplied to the Parish Council by the Consultants, the report is quite clear as to its findings
and recommendations. It is worthy of study, seems to be well focussed and to be a good base from
which to move forward.
Acknowledging a lack of facilities at present, there is a need to build up management and infrastructure
for sport and leisure and to increase participation, making best use of existing facilities and enhancing
them where possible. Unless this is done, as a bare minimum, funding for a major new facility is not
likely to be made available. It may be several years before a bid for a large amount of Lottery
money would have much chance of success.
A long term approach "should take the form of a Sports and Recreation Development Programme"
and "It should include the capacity to write and implement a task orientated Sport and Recreation Plan,
which would be a step by step process, based on developing awareness, interest and involvement."
The development of any major new facility should be considered as part of the "Programme"
and included in the specific objectives of the "Plan".
More or less, the Consultants' report does not dwell on these and quite a number are out of the
scope of their experience or expertise. Our news page in November listed the following items:
A wide range of possible activities which are broadly social/recreational and not strictly 'sport' related
should surely be considered and promoted alongside any development programme for sport which is
geared to the provision of new buildings for public use in Broughton Astley. The list above reflects only
some suggestions which were available to the sub-committee and it is not based on a formal survey or
study or detailed public consultation.
I understand that the new facilities most in demand when the Parish Council held a public meeting
were 'wet'. "Swimming Pool" was on many people's lips, but this does seem to be quite out of the
question, given high cost and the availablity of more than one pool within a few miles of Broughton.
A shortage of transport to more distant leisure facilities, including swimming, is still an important
issue for many people.
At the full council meeting on 22 February, the Consultants' Report was accepted and adopted as
a way forward. The working group or sub-commitee for the Major Build Leisure Facility was tasked
to continue with their mandate following additional study of the report.
If you live in or near Broughton Astley we would like to hear from you, particularly if you either run
or participate in any regular leisure activities.
There is web space available at Broughton Astley On-Line for groups to be listed. For the moment
there is no Sport section here, but all we need is some information to publish!
Copyright - John Peirson 2001