Published: Tuesday, 1st March 2022
A new study is to investigate sports provision across West Norfolk to identify what additional facilities and pitches might be needed now and into the future.
The borough council-commissioned research will help the council, community organisations and sports clubs to apply for funds for new facilities because it will provide a ready-made bank of evidence to show what is needed.
Cllr Sam Sandell, cabinet member for people and communities, said: “The health and wellbeing of the people of West Norfolk is a priority for us at any time and never more so than now, given the events of the past two years.
“This is a timely opportunity to take a strategic look at provision in the borough and identify where communities would benefit from additional facilities, making it easier for them take part in leisure and sporting activities.”
"The study will look at provision across a wide range of sports and facilities. It will include consultation with clubs and the public, parish councils and schools to ensure the voices of all those with an interest are heard.”
The consultation will incorporate new research, covering a range of sports and activities*, and will make use of existing research, such as the 2020 Football Foundation report that identified a shortage of 3G pitches in King’s Lynn.
It will specifically address disability provision and will consider both structured (e.g. through clubs) and unstructured or free activities (e.g. access to walking/cycling trails).
The research won’t directly lead to the development of new facilities but it will give the council a clear picture of what is needed. This will inform the development of strategies for sports provision and it will mean that applications for grants and funding are more likely to succeed because they will be backed by strong evidence.
Cllr Sandell added: “I’m sure this research will give us plenty to think about and plenty to do but I’m really looking forward to seeing the results so we can get started.”
The research is due to begin in early March and will continue until mid-May. The findings are expected to be reported to the cabinet in the autumn. Anyone wishing to submit a view, either on behalf of a club or organisation, or as an individual, can fill in a survey at https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/sportsfacilityresearch by Friday, 17 May.