Issue details

Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy Report

This report provides Committee with a proposed Facility Investment Strategy for Leisure Services that reflects the importance placed on the provision of quality, community-based facilities providing sport and physical activities that contribute towards positive health and social outcomes for Wirral residents as identified in the Wirral Plan.


The Strategy will provide the Council with the opportunity to develop new and refurbished community facilities, designed with and for the needs of the local community and in most cases housed with co-located services, in order to deliver broader outcomes that are fundamental to the successful delivery of the outcomes of the Wirral Plan and to ensure the longer-term financial sustainability of the Council. Having been jointly commissioned with Sport England, and produced by leading Leisure Consultants, Knight Kavanagh Page (KKP), the Facility Investment Strategy sets out the plan to deliver a combination of new and refurbished leisure facilities and community hubs for Wirral Council. It builds on the Council’s strategic direction of travel as set out in the following strategic documents;


· Creating an Active Wirral 2026 (Appendix 1)


· Sport England Strategic Outcome Planning Diagnostic Report (Appendix 2)


· Wirral Council Playing Pitch and Open Space Strategy (Appendix 7)


· Environment and Climate Emergency Policy


· Medium Term Financial Strategy Along with the evidence base developed as part of the Indoor and Built Sports Facilities Strategy (Appendix 6).


The strategy is also presented in the context of the Council’s need to achieve financial stability as highlighted through the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities external assurance review published in November 2021. The strategy seeks to provide a long-term investment approach that modernises and rationalises the Council estate, taking away the need for subsidy and leading to revenue savings and better outcomes for residents. The Facilities Investment Strategy contains an accurate, detailed summary showing the current state of leisure facilities, includes proposals in respect of the component parts and shape of all future leisure facilities in the Borough, provides fully validated recommendations and proposals which explicitly detail where future leisure facilities within the Authority should be located (considering and agreeing the preferred option for all existing/new sites), the rationale for them individually and collectively, their scale, scope, relationship to the communities served, to each other and to other sport, leisure, cultural and community facilities.


Also contained within the Investment Strategy is high-level cost forecasting detailing the estimated revenue cost/surplus generating potential, and capital cost (including lifecycle costs) of all future leisure facilities in the Borough – in the form of cost summaries and projections - detailing what to invest in, where, why and in what order.


The Strategy is aligned to the priorities of the Wirral Plan 2026:


· Active and healthy lives


· Safe and pleasant communities


· Sustainable environment


· Brighter futures


· Inclusive economy


The Investment Strategy also builds on the wider regeneration aspirations of the Council as set out in the Birkenhead 2040 Framework and the new Local Plan 2021-2037 Submission Draft. Specifically, the strategy builds on and will inform the emerging regeneration masterplan proposals at Seacombe River Corridor, Central Birkenhead, Wirral Waters and West Kirby Town Centre.


This report is a key decision as it affects Wards within the Borough

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved


Agenda items