1. Introduction

The sports facilities buildings in Brighton & Hove are popular and essential in providing opportunities for health, wellbeing and leisure activities.

However, the public sports centres and swimming pools provided within the city are showing their age and need to be improved. Old buildings are inefficient, expensive to run and maintain and often fail to meet modern demands. The facilities should be good quality, accessible and sustainable so more people can take part in sport and physical activity to benefit their physical and mental health.

The current portfolio of sports facilities are ageing and need improvement. The newest facility at Moulsecoomb was originally built 30 years ago in 1991, and the oldest, St Luke’s Swimming Pool dates back to the early 1900s. As well as struggling to cope with modern patterns of use, poor accessibility and design constraints, the associated upkeep and maintenance costs are high.

The range and choice of public sport and leisure facilities in the city is in need of modernisation and is failing to keep pace with facilities provided in neighbouring authorities and other towns. A new strategic citywide investment plan is needed to achieve sustainable revenue generation across the portfolio of sports facilities. This is also necessary to meet the long-term needs of the city and local communities to sustain and increase rates of participation.

To help re-assess and provide a new strategic vision for sports facilities in the city, FMG Consulting (FMG) were engaged to undertake comprehensive condition surveys of each facility to help review the overall costs of upkeep and lifecycle maintenance. In addition, this enabled a full understanding of the future liabilities of the sports facilities. This information was then used to create a high-level Investment Plan and future Management Options Appraisal.

The opportunities identified, and recommendations made within this Sports Facilities Investment Plan (SFIP) provides the council with outline costs of providing modern, attractive, cost effective facilities, which can better serve the sport and leisure needs of local residents, and increase activity levels and participation into the future.

This plan has been developed through a comprehensive process, including a strategic analysis and assessment of the need for indoor sports provision and  the opportunities  for improvement  across the city.

Sports Facilities Investment Plan (SFIP)

In developing the plan the following have  been considered:

  • national, regional and local strategies relating to sport and physical activity and to public health and wellbeing
  • the social and economic characteristics of the city now and into the future
  • market analysis, assessing the supply and demand of leisure facilities and the identification of key issues, standards and gaps in existing provision
  • financial analysis of facility and income performance against industry benchmarks - opportunities for future development including options appraisals and outline capital costs
  • the views of local people on local sport and leisure provision through robust feedback from key internal and external stakeholders, and consultation through an online public survey
  • recognition of the climate emergency and the council commitment to carbon reduction by 2030

2. Investment plan recommendations

Through the analysis, review and consultation process undertaken, a long-term strategic vision is recommended  for the city which is a balanced model providing a range of opportunities and development options. 

The resulting aim would see the creation of three modern large hub destination sports facilities which would support and be supplemented by improvements to smaller existing community facilities.

Strategic vision

Residents and visitors should have access to outstanding sports facilities which support year-round healthy lifestyles and are designed to facilitate inclusion for all.   

The council recognises the significant contribution that sport and physical activity make to the quality of life for residents and to the local economy. There is a growing awareness that the needs of the city are changing, and that the existing facilities are ageing. Any future investment should aim to provide social, economic and environmental outcomes. A low carbon approach to construction and operation will also be key in creating future sports facilities. 

Creation of three large multi sports hub facilities to serve the city:

  • West - a site to be identified in the west of the city
  • North - increased provision at Withdean Sports Complex
  • East - a site to be identified in the east of the city

Additionally, maintain and invest in a small network of locally accessible community leisure centres to support the needs of residents.

Principles for investment

Our principles for investment are to:

  • provide sports facilities that are modern and well located to maximise catchment areas - this would provide opportunities, reduce barriers and encourage more people to be more active, more often
  • improve financial viability and long-term sustainability
  • provide facilities that are relevant and based on evidence and need
  • enhance opportunities in areas of inactivity and social deprivation
  • ensure that sport facilities are fully accessible and inclusive - taking into account the principles of Active Design
  • recognise the council’s commitment to the climate emergency and improve environmental sustainability

The investment proposals would see the city-wide provision of  sporting facilities including large sports facilities known as hubs and community facilities.

Large sports facilities, known as Hubs:

  • West - Leisure Centre (current King Alfred Leisure Centre) potentially comprising:

    • 25m x 8 lane competition pool
    • smaller training and teaching pool
    • some element of leisure water - dependent on size of site
    • 350 spectator seats for regional swimming competitions
    • 8 court sports hall - this could be a 12 court sports hall if NGB commitment was provided
    • minimum 100 station gym
    • interactive cycling studio
    • two studios - 100m2 each
    • on-site parking - spaces as per planning
    • ancillary facilities including cafe

Potential variants could also include an adventure zone like TAG Active, soft play or climbing (subject to site constraints and business case). The size equals approximately 9000 to 10000m2 excluding parking.

  • North - complement existing facilities at Withdean Sports Complex by broadening the current provision, potentially:

    • creation of soft play facility
    • small sided 3G pitch and new outdoor changing facilities
    • expansion of health and fitness offer

Existing facilities are a large gym, 2 x studios Interactive cycling studio Squash courts with club and bar area, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, athletics track, grass pitch for football and athletics, training rooms for hire, small multi use games area, leased areas including large climbing wall and sports injury clinics.

  • East - Leisure Centre (current Prince Regent Swimming Complex) potentially comprising:

    • 25m 6 lane pool - if St Lukes Swimming Pool was not retained then this should be 8 lane
    • smaller training and teaching pool
    • splash pad and leisure water of at least 200m2 - subject to site capacity
    • 200 spectator seats
    • 4 to 6 court sports hall
    • 100 station gym
    • interactive cycling studio
    • two studios 100m2 each
    • on-site parking - spaces as per planning
    • ancillary facilities including cafe

Potential variants could also include an adventure zone like TAG Active, soft play or climbing (subject to site constraints and business case). the size equals approximately 6000 to 7000m2 excluding parking.

Community facilities:

  • Moulsecoomb Community Leisure Centre - new gymnastics provision, small sided 3G football (to replace the existing MUGAs) and expansion of gym and health and fitness facilities
  • Portslade Sports Centre - a new soft play facility and expansion of café and party provision, a relocated and enlarged gym and possible creation of new studio spaces
  • Stanley Deason Leisure Centre - continued provision of outdoor hockey and football by replacement of the sand based and 3G artificial grass pitch surfaces
  • St Lukes Swimming Pool  – no new investment currently identified. Long term future to be considered in line with development of East hub

Rationale and level of financial investment

Our rational and level of financial investment are:

  • the full stock condition surveys highlighted that circa £20million is required to maintain the existing stock of facilities (exc. paddling pools) for the next 15 years. This does not provide best value in the longer term
  • resources would be better spent on the provision of modern more efficient leisure buildings. These would enhance the support for the council’s corporate objectives including the aim of being carbon neutral by 2030
  • review and analysis led to a strategic vision of three larger sports facilities/hubs spread geographically across the city, supplemented by smaller, more local community facilities
  • the new, larger, more efficient facilities will help achieve a financially sustainable offer across the city. These can subsidise the less commercial, smaller leisure centres for local communities
  • the potential cost of delivering identified improvements to local leisure centres and creating two new large multi-activity sporting hubs in the West and East of the city will potentially cost in the region of £85 million. Withdean Sports Complex would form the North Hub
  • the successful implementation of the SFIP will be subject to further work being undertaken. This will include detailed feasibility work and business case reviews on the various different elements
  • the cost of delivery could be funded by long term borrowing (loans) which would be paid back through improved financial returns from the combined portfolio of sports facilities. This could also be supplemented by achieving capital returns for existing sites once the new facilities have been delivered.   In addition, the council would seek to maximise funding streams such as grants
  • the future management of the combined portfolio of facilities, and access to capital borrowing, requires detailed consideration.  Suitable locations would have to be acquired for the development and delivery of the two new large sports facilities, to achieve the long-term vision

3. Background

In Brighton & Hove:

  • there are 291,000 people and this is projected to grow to 327,000 over the next 20 years
  • there is a more diverse, mobile, younger population profile than England but the fastest growth will be in those aged over 55 years old
  • key prevalent health conditions include mortality rates caused by cardiovascular disease, the prevalence of dementia and the levels of smoking amongst young people
  • the average life expectancy is slightly higher than the national average - healthy life expectancy, however, has fallen, meaning that on average a larger proportion of life is spent in poor health, increasingly with multiple long-term health conditions
  • the number of people with a car or van is below average, meaning a larger proportion of the population are dependent on other forms of transport to reach sport facilities and for some this can be a barrier to taking part
  • levels of deprivation vary across the city with several wards in the east and west of the city being some of the most deprived wards nationally

How active Brighton & Hove residents are:

  • the number of people active (150 minutes per week) in the city is above the national average
  • 74% of Brighton & Hove adults (aged 16 and over) are physically active at the recommended levels
  • Brighton & Hove is the 6th highest city in the country for percentage of physically active adults, however 16% are inactive and 62,900 adults are not meeting recommended physical activity levels
  • there has been a positive increase from those doing little or no exercise to at least 30 minutes per week
  • there are wards in the east and west of the city where the rates of inactivity are higher than the national average
  • a third of the 5 to 16 age group are less active doing less than 30 mins activity per day, 5 to 16 age group are less active
  • participation in the city is higher than the national average:
    • cycling for travel (x 1.7 higher)
    • yoga (x 1.5)
    • fitness classes (x 1.4)
    • swimming (x 1.3)
    • walking for travel (x 1.3)
    • racket sports (x 1.1)
    • running (x 1.1)
  • 62% are satisfied with sport and leisure services in the city, although certain groups are less satisfied:
    • those aged 55 and over, those with disabilities and those living in BN3 postcode

Why Brighton & Hove provide sport and leisure services:

  • to promote health benefits of exercise e.g. decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
  • to widen access to sport and provide participation opportunities for all, thus bringing social inclusion and engagement benefits
  • to nuture success in sport by providing facilities, supporting sports development programmes and facilitating pathways for talented athletes
  • to encourage active lifestyles by reducing inactivity and increasing participation thus reducing the cost of NHS spending in the city
  • to reduce obesity levels amongst children and adults in turn reducing risk of associated disease and lowering the burden on Public Health
  • to promote active travel and develop informal outdoor areas to promote opportunities for increased activity
  • as a vehicle to tackle anti-social behaviour and support crime reduction across  the city

Developing the Sports Facilities Infrastructure can have a strong influencing impact supporting the delivery of:

  • a healthy city
  • an inclusive city
  • a happy city
  • an accessible city
  • a carbon neutral city

The council recognises the significant contribution that sport and physical activity makes to the quality of life for residents and to the local economy. 

It is anticipated that future sport and leisure provision will:

  • appeal and engage local communities, including marginalised groups
  • improve the prosperity of the city through employment, visitor spend and improvements in quality, environmental impact and financial performance
  • raise the effectiveness of service delivery through enhanced partnership working between the council, its leisure operator and wider sporting partners
  • create the opportunities for continued talent identification and on-going support for sporting excellence through club development

There is clear evidence that the council’s corporate plans and strategies are strategically aligned with national priorities. These aim to support the delivery of solutions that will address issues affecting the city’s communities. 

They include a focus on encouraging people to move more, promote their physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce the incidence of obesity, social isolation and financial impact on the NHS from chronic and preventable conditions through greater awareness and improved health education.

The council values the contribution that sport and physical activity makes to the city and has identified a number of sites in the City Plan and associated guidance to encourage the development of future sports provision.

The council’s City Plan Part One recognises that despite good progress made in recent years, sport and recreation facilities are still inadequate for a city of the size and regional importance of Brighton & Hove. By continuing to make investment in sports facilities according to identified local need, the council sends a very strong and positive message to all strategic partners that it is committed to supporting the shared vision for the city. 

National and local strategic alignment

The following demonstrates how national strategies and the council’s local strategies, plans and objectives are linked and aligned.

Central government drivers:

  • physical health
  • mental wellbeing
  • individual development
  • social and community development
  • economic development
    • more people from every background regularly and meaningfully taking part in sport and physical activity
    • a more productive, sustainable and responsible sport sector

Department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) and Sprot England outcomes:

  • effective investment models
  • realising the power of people and leadership
  • applying innovation and high quality digital data
  • insight and learning
  • recover and reinvent
  • connecting communities
  • positive experiences for young people and children
  • connecting with health and wellbeing

Brighton & Hove City Council:

  • communities that feel safe, supported and valued
  • a city the build community wealth and prosperity
  • a city that's carbon neutral by 2030
  • a caring city that supports community need
  • improved access to housing

Role of sports facilities:

  • ensuring the financial sustainability of the sports centres - working with schools and other community groups to encourage high levels of participation in sport and other physical activity
  • working with partners in the national governing bodies of sport and public health to address inequalities
  • promoting, developing and delivering sporting, leisure and associated health and wellbeing activities that benefit the local area

The council’s sports facilities

The council works with, or supports, a wide range of indoor and outdoor sports facilities across the city. However, the scope of the SFIP was specifically limited to the 11 sites within the current indoor sports facilities portfolio (seven leisure centres and four paddling pools/water features) along with two school sports facilities owned by the council (Surrenden Pool and Longhill Sports Centre).

The Manor and Saltdean Lido were excluded from the review as they are leased facilities, albeit important to the local communities and city’s sport and leisure offer.

Since 2011, the council’s seven main public sports centres have been operated by Freedom Leisure – a not for profit Leisure Trust. This contract currently runs until the end of March 2024.

The council faces some significant challenges in terms of its current building assets with decisions required on the shape of future provision. Current facilities have already exceeded their projected lifespan.


The full stock condition surveys highlighted that:

  • the buildings are ageing and will require an estimated £20 million just to maintain the facilities over the next 15 years and keep them open 
  • over half of the predicted total maintenance expenditure is due within the next 5 years
  • the size of the required investment, into older, poor quality stock, does not provide best value in the longer term
  • resources would be better spent on the provision of modern more efficient, accessible buildings
  • the strategic aim to be carbon neutral by 2030 would not be achieved with existing facilities

To have a strong influence on activity levels in the city, effective investing in a portfolio of facilities is required. This will ensure that services remain accessible to all parts of the community which positively impacts on the health and wellbeing of residents and tackles health inequality.

Performance Data (2018 to 2019)

Considering the poor condition of the facilities, user numbers indicate the centres are very popular - approximately 1.7 million visits per year. Participation and income levels, considering the limitations of the facilities, are good. This in part reflects the fact that demand in the city exceeds supply. Comparing financial performance with other local authority leisure centres. (Financial figures are compared in terms of the income in relation to the space in m2).

Swimming Pools

The council’s pools perform well, achieving more than 50% higher financial levels per m2 against a national performance range although there is pressure on the current amount of pool water available for public and club swimming.

The city’s key swim clubs do not feel that they have enough pool time for their swimmers to train and develop and use a variety of private facilities and pools outside Brighton and Hove. To achieve a balanced programme across the city with the number and type of water space available is a huge challenge.

Fitness Gyms

Generally the council gyms perform well above the average performance range. There is additional demand which requires further investment to increase capacity and improve performance going forward.

Sports Halls

The council’s Sports Halls perform above the financial benchmark range in most of the centres. In terms of overall income, the age and condition of the facilities and the type of offer affects overall performance. Withdean Sports Complex is the highest performing facility achieving significantly above the benchmark.

Building Efficiency

In terms of overall building efficiency, as expected the large wet sites of the King Alfred Leisure Centre and Prince Regent Swimming Complex are the most inefficient due to their age, poor overall condition and high utility and maintenance costs.

The King Alfred Leisure Centre and St Lukes Swimming Pool are the lowest performing facilities in terms of the financial return for the size of the facility.

4. Analysis, evidence and future need

The views of local people have been expressed through the council’s ‘Your Sport, Your Vision, Your City’ residents online survey 2020, and through various discussions with local stakeholders, sports clubs, national governing bodies of sport, and voluntary organisations and associations.

Initial consultation with internal and external stakeholders

The key messages from the initial consultation were:

  • facilities are showing their age
  • there's a need for more ambitious offer for young people such as soft play/adventure play and gymnastics
  • any new investment must ensure flexibility in space
  • any swimming offer needs to provide a better balance of water provision and activities
  • there's a need for better social spaces within facilities
  • National Governing Bodies (NGBs) recognise that there are opportunities to improve participation in a range of key sports
  • there is a need to retain the current capacity of sports halls across the city
  • all new investment must consider physical adaptation and service enhancements for people with disabilities to ensure that the user experience is improved

Public consultation

The online survey was available on Brighton & Hove City Council’s website. It ran for a total of nine weeks from Monday 16 November 2020 until Sunday 17 January 2021. A total of 1,474 valid responses were received.

There was overwhelming support to improve the facilities.

The data from the consultation also showed that:

  • significantly more females (62.1%) completed the survey than males (33.9%)
  • 52% of respondents had taken part in 30 minutes or more of physical activity, on 4 or more occasions, in the past week.
  • the King Alfred Leisure Centre was the most visited facility in the city
  • The largest number of responses were from people aged 45 to 54 (32.4%). 30% were aged over 55, whilst only 2.9% of young people aged 16 to 24 responded
  • 37.19% of respondees had either never visited or only visited a facility once in the last year
  • 46.6% of people preferred to drive to the council's sport facilities

The top 4 priorities highlighted to improve the frequency of use


1265 people (86.5%) said improving the current sports facilities in the city would make them go more frequently. 671 (47.4%) said improving the cleanliness of the facilities would help, whilst 620 (43.8%) mentioned improving maintenance.


607 people (42.9%) said improving the facilities for the type of activity or sport they're interested in would increase attendence. 542 (38.3%) would be tempted if there was an increase in the type of activities on offer.


518 people (36.6%) said that the cost of access to the facilities would have an impact on how regularly they would go.


359 respondents (25.4%) mentioned improved car parking facilities as a factor. 206 (14%) people said that changing the location of the facility, to make it easier to get to, would encourage them to use the facilities more.

Replacing Facilites

Over 83% of respondees agreed with the statement that: “The council should replace some of the older sports facilities in the city with better designed, more modern, more efficient, new ones.”

King Alfred Leisure Centre

34.2% of respondents wanted the council to keep the current facility and improve it. Most respondents (41%) wanted the council to provide a new facility in the existing location. 8% wanted a new facility in a new location. 11.6% did not express an opinion.

Prince Regent Swimming Complex

57.9% of respondents want the council to improve the facility but keep it in its current location. There was not much difference found between those respondents who wanted a new facility in the same location (10.2%) as opposed to those who wanted it in a different location (9.4%). 24.4% were not able to decide.

Withdean Sports Complex

23.6% of respondents felt that the facility did not require large scale improvements, whilst 32.7% want the council to improve the facility.

Portslade Sports Centre

25.9% of respondents wanted improvements to the facility. 60.5% of respondents didn’t express a view.

Moulsecoomb Community Leisure Centre

21.6% of respondents wanted the council to improve the current facility. 68% did not express a view.

Stanley Deason Leisure Centre

Only 18.9% expressed the view that they wanted the council to keep the current facility and improve it. 69.7% did not express a view.

St Luke's Swimming Pool

A relatively small number of respondents (18%) wanted the council to keep the facility and improve it. 68.5% did not express a view.

Travelling to a facility

65.2% of respondents were happy to travel further for better facilities and activities, but the majority would prefer to travel no more than 20 minutes. 48% would travel 10 to 19 minutes to get to a good facility, 26% would travel 20 to 29 minutes.

Sporting hubs and community sport facilities

66.7% of respondents agreed with: “The Council’s vision for three new large sports facilities serving different parts of the city supported by some of the current smaller community facilities”

Top priorities

The top priorities for a new sporting hub were:

  • a main swimming pool (84.8% of respondants)
  • a teaching pool (57.1%)
  • leisure water (52.6%)
  • café facilities (62.4%)
  • dance/aerobic studio (60.2%)
  • a large gym (56.8%)
  • a 6 to 8 court sports hall (53.4%)
  • an activity or multi-purpose hall (51.7%)

The top priorities for a community sports facility were:

  • a dance/aerobic space (63.3% of respondants)
  • a small gym (56.5%)
  • café facilities (52.8%)
  • a multi-purpose hall (51.8%)
  • a 4 to 6 court sports hall (51.5%)

Other responses

There were a wide variety of sports and activities mentioned in the ‘other’ responses some of which relate to the retention/improvement of existing facilities and others new sport or activity spaces. A number of these have been considered as part of the demand and supply analysis. Others will need to be reviewed as part of detailed feasibility and business case reviews.

Consultation with local stakeholders - sports clubs and associations

The council has a role to play in reducing health inequalities and improving the infrastructure that enables further improvements to residents’ physical and mental health.

There are further opportunities to improve collaborative working with sports clubs and partners, the council and the Leisure Operator.

There is widespread support for a better standard of provision to support club development and improving the opportunities for hosting competitions, developing the city’s talent and promoting elite performance. This can be achieved through further investment into the stock of sports facilities in the city, with a mix of local and sport specific investment supplemented by the outdoor environment.

Larger sports facilities and sporting hubs

Residents and sporting clubs recognise that the current stock of provision is dated and requires improvement.

Community sports provision

People are looking for a broader range of activity which takes place within their local area

Supply and demand

An extensive analysis of current and future supply and demand for sports facilities in the city has been undertaken. This focused on both traditional and non-traditional forms of activity using a wide variety of data sets and sources of information.

Swimming pools

The current demand for pool water in the city exceeds supply. Any closure or loss of a facility will result in a significant pressure on the remaining facilities for use for public and club swimming. A new competition sized swimming pool facility measuring 25m x 17m (8 lanes) is considered an essential element for any new provision within the city.

Sports halls

Demand and usage of sports halls is high and close to capacity. It will be important to ensure that any future investment at least maintains and potentially increases the number of publicly accessible sports halls within the city. Future access can also be supported through more formal community use agreements with the city’s schools.

Artificial grass pitches (AGP)

The Local Football Facility Plan (February 2020) notes that the geographic spread of existing facilities in the city is uneven with the greatest gaps in provision in the west and northern areas of the city. The council’s facilities at Withdean, King Alfred and Moulsecoomb have all been identified as priority locations for some form of small sided provision. At King Alfred this would be linked to a future indoor football (Futsal) offer. 


There are currently no purpose-built gymnastics facilities in Brighton & Hove. British Gymnastics (BG) is working with local clubs in Brighton & Hove to support grass roots development but it has not as yet identified a scheme that it may support through funding. Gymnastics is particularly popular with young people, especially young girls. In addition, regular research is undertaken into demand that shows a national waiting list of 1.5 million participants and an annual growth of 10% year on year in activity levels.

The council’s operator, Freedom Leisure, has indicated that there is potential for adding gymnastics provision within an existing centre to provide dedicated space to develop the gymnastics/trampoline offer to a wider market.

Health and fitness

The market for health and fitness providers is highly competitive in and around the city. There is still evidence of the additional demand for fitness membership across the city which can be realised through further investment in council provision.

In response to changing patterns of use, flexible studio spaces offer a complementary option to traditional gym spaces and any future investment should seek to include these as part of future design proposals.


Withdean Sports Complex provides good facilities in the city for athletics although requires some improvements.


Existing facilities in the city are meeting demand. Given the overall income performance for squash there is slight overprovision based on the historical patterns of demand. There is an opportunity to rationalise provision for alternate uses.

Indoor tennis

The city’s indoor tennis facility at Withdean Sports Complex is well located and remains popular. The council has been moving away from direct provision for tennis and working towards establishing new management agreements with designated clubs.


The supply of artificial grass pitches is deemed sufficient to meet demand for hockey both now and in the future. This is based on the retention of the existing sand based facility at Stanley Deason Leisure Centre.

Basketball and Wheelchair Basketball

Basketball England identifies an existing shortfall of around 2 basketball courts necessary to meet forecast demand by 2029. It considers this can be achieved through suitable investment in additional sport hall space.

Indoor bowls

Since the indoor bowls facility at the King Alfred Leisure Centre closed, the users have relocated. With current levels of demand being met, there is an adequate supply to cater for the future levels of demand.

Ten pin bowling

There is a total of 52 lanes within a 25-minute drive time and there is not sufficient additional demand to support further provision.

Ice skating

Ice rinks require more than 30% of the population to be aged under 24 years. Whilst the current population is marginally above this figure, they will make up a smaller proportion of the overall population in future years. Ice rinks have high operational costs and the energy footprint they generate through operations may be at odds with the city’s priorities around its climate agenda. The overall risk associated with provision is considered to be too high to outweigh any benefit.

Children’s soft play

The choice for indoor soft play facilities is limited across the city. Given the location of the existing soft play facilities there is potential unmet demand to come from those communities living to the north and west of the city centre. Finding suitable locations in these areas would therefore appear a viable solution.

Adventure climbing

There are currently three indoor climbing facilities located in the city offering broadly similar offers. To increase the levels of participation there is scope to add an innovative clip and climb offer to broaden the appeal for families.

Trampoline parks

The link between trampolining and gymnastics has been traditionally strong. It is suggested that the option for taking part in trampolining would continue as part of a modern structured gymnastics offer.

TAG Active

TAG Active is a relatively new product to the leisure market, aimed at getting people active through a non-traditional sporting activity. It is a multi level assault course designed to appeal to a wide age group and family market. However, the data indicates the usage is mainly in the evenings and weekends with minimal daytime usage.

Where it works best is by retrofitting poor performing sports spaces to create better revenue streams. In this way running costs are kept low with minimal additional staffing and savings in related utility costs.

Future Need - What does this mean for Brighton & Hove?

The supply and demand assessment undertaken suggests that successful investment will require a combination of new build and refurbishment proposals. There is a long-held requirement to replace the ageing King Alfred Leisure Centre which is now overdue. In addition the Prince Regent Swimming Complex is now a dated facility with high upkeep costs which needs significant improvement.

There is therefore an opportunity to provide new sports facilities serving the East and West of the city, with the popular Withdean Sports Complex continuing to serve the North. These three facilities should be of a sufficiently large scale to provide a comprehensive sporting offer. Including (where land permits) new pool and sport hall facilities. Family friendly activities like soft play and adventure climbing could make up for current gaps in the market.

In terms of more local community sports facilities, general refurbishment programmes are recommended to upgrade and enhance the local offer. At Portslade Sports Centre, Moulsecoomb Community Leisure Centre and Stanley Deason Leisure Centre this can ensure that the local needs of residents can be better addressed. The need to retain St. Lukes Swimming Pool as a small community pool should be considered as part of wider proposals for the East Hub development.

As well as plans for investment, the council will continue to work with the universities and the network of schools and colleges, sports clubs and community centres to increase the availability of community access to sports facilities across the city.

Improved Sports Facilities through the implementation of the Sports Facilities Investment Plan can assist in:

  • reducing inequalities - children and young people, older people, disadvantaged families, black and minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups, and women and girls.
  • coordinating sport (physical activity and health programmes) - developing closer working partnerships between health and sports professionals.
  • improving the facility base - addressing the shortfall identified in the city’s facility provision to improve the opportunities for sport and physical activity. The importance of collaboration, developing partnerships and engagement with sports clubs and national governing bodies of sport both at local and national level is a high priority to ensure the aspirations of the plan are delivered.
  • refining partnership networks - assist city stakeholders to work towards strategic priorities in the city.
  • contributing to wider agendas - the recognition that collaborative network of sport and physical activity providers are able to contribute to wider agendas in the city relating to health, community development and social cohesion. They may also be able to benefit from practical help and sharing resources, where service providers in these areas wish to support sport and physical activity initiatives.
  • supporting schools and clubs - finding ways to stem the decline in participation of young people between the ages of 14 and 25.
  • raising the profile - championing the value that sport and physical activity makes to the quality of life for residents.