About Sports facilities transfer - bristol.gov.uk
About Sports Facilities Transfer
What the project is and why we have chosen to do this.
The Council’s adopted Bristol Playing Pitch Strategy identified that Bristol has a large number of poor grass playing pitches and that a significant number of these are in Council ownership and on Parks land. There is a desire from sport funding bodies to improve facilities and the improvement of grass pitches has been identified as a priority in the Football Foundation’s Football Facility Plan for Bristol.
Our football pitches and bowls greens are an important part of how we deal with:
- physical health and well-being
- community cohesion
- helping bring green spaces to life
We want to provide high quality facilities that meet all these needs.
The council offer bowls, football and cricket facilities in parks. At its Cabinet meeting on 1st May 2018, the Council adopted an approach to provide sport in parks at no cost as part of a three-year savings programme.
As a result of two consultations, subsequent further engagement with sports governing bodies and the bowls clubs in scope, and after consideration of the condition of some facilities, the following recommendations have been made:
- Progress a lease for the bowls facilities at Canford Park, Begbrook Park and Netham Park with the existing occupiers. The agreement would be to guarantee continued current use for sport.
- Incorporate Eastville Park and St George Park bowls facilities, and the Ardagh Sports Centre bowls green, in to the Bristol Future Parks process without a condition that they continue to be used only for sport.
- Incorporate Oldbury Court in to the Bristol Future Parks process with a condition that playing pitches must be able to be provided.
- Take forward a facility transfer expression of interest process from November 2020 on the remaining sites with a condition that the function for the existing sport must be protected.
- The site would be leased to a third-party operator. Site use may be multi-functional in order to support sustainable funding, use and access to protect existing levels.
- For facilities where Expressions of Interest are not received, offer seasonal hire so they are operated at no net cost to the Council (4 x current rate). This will apply from the following season (2021-22).
There are many successful examples of clubs being run independently on council land both in Bristol and across the country like in Bridgend and South Gloucestershire. There are also successful examples of councils offering a group of sports facilities through a similar process and successful examples of other community and council facilities being offered in a similar way.