Where can I find advice on the design, costs and maintenance of sports facilities?

Understanding the context

Before embarking on a project, it is crucial that the need for new or replacement facilities is established through a rigorous assessment of the supply and demand for the relevant sport.

If the evidence supports the case for new build, there are a number of steps to go through to define the appropriate scale, mix and specification of facilities.

It will need to be supported by a robust business plan which demonstrates how the investment will achieve value for money and how the facility can be operated sustainably.

To help you do this, use Sport England’s suite of design guidance and cost advice for developing different types of sports facilities.

How can Sport England help?

  • Use the guidance for developing the right sports hall, swimming pool or artificial grass pitch to work through a logical step-by-step process to develop a project brief. This will ensure that the facility specifications reflect the demand from potential users and the development requirements of the priority sports, supported by a viable and sustainable business plan
  • To ensure your project meets the appropriate national governing body standards for different sports, we have produced guidance on design and technical specifications.Guidance on accessible facilities is available to help designers and operators meet their obligations under the Disability and Equality Act 2010
  • Cost-effective designs and efficiently operated facilities can offer significant savings for both capital costs and ongoing revenue figures. Use Sport England’s affordable benchmark designs for sports halls, swimming pools and sports centres to help shape your project brief and design thinking at an early stage in the project
  • For information on how much it costs to build a sports facility we produce typical facility capital costs which are updated on a regular basis and are based on actual costs of recent projects. It is important that lifecycle costs – the costs of regular maintenance and replacement elements – are factored into the business planning for a new facility to ensure that it can be kept fit for purpose throughout its lifetime
  • Extreme weather conditions can have a damaging impact on sport. We have published advice on reducing the risks and mitigating the impacts of floods and drought
  • We have compiled a number of case studies to showcase sports facilities which demonstrate examples of good practice and innovative design
  • We have a number of different facility funding streams aimed at improving provision that local partners can apply to.

What's the result?

By using this guidance you will be able to:

  • Develop quality sports facilities which are appropriate in scale and design for the needs of their users
  • Develop cost-effective sports facilities which are affordable and sustainable
  • Learn good practice from recent facility projects.