In 2002, the Cabinet Office published Game Plan – a strategy for delivering the Government’s sport and physical activity objectives. This recommended setting up a single national facilities database, managed by Sport England, to ensure that facility provision is planned strategically at national and local levels.
Launched in 2004, the Active Places sports facilities database now consists of 30,000 sites, at which 64,000 facilities of 14 different types are located. This equates to 80% of locations where formal sport takes place, covering those in both public and private ownership – for example, education, commercial sector, local authority, sports clubs and so on. The Leisure Database Company, contracted by Sport England, collects and maintains the facility data via a rolling survey, which ensures the details held for each facility are checked once a year.
Through licence agreements data is also provided via other systems including: county sports partnership (CSP) websites such as Get Active London; NHS Choices; and Google Maps (local enhanced content deal). Data from Active Places is also used in other Sport England tools including Spogo, the Sports Market Segmentation web tool and the Facilities Planning Model.
Active Places Power provides local authorities, national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport and other partners with a series of advanced analytical tools to help improve the strategic planning and provision of sports facilities. Active Places underpins Active Places Power and is updated weekly.
How can the CSP use the tool with partners?
Active Places is easy to use and should only require signposting. Sport England’s role is only to support partners on how to use Active Places Power, not to undertake audits/assessments on their behalf.
What are the costs?
Access is free for non-commercial use of the website and data. To register see:
What can it be used for?
- Provides the starting point for auditing existing facility provision as part of sports facility assessments and strategies
- Allows benchmarking of how existing facility provision compares with nearby and comparable local authorities to be undertaken
- Allows basic assessment of the balance between supply and demand of facilities to be undertaken
- Provides an understanding of the catchments of existing or proposed sports facilities in terms of accessibility or socio-economic characteristics.
What will it tell me?
Active Places Power has a suite of tools that allows assessments of existing sports facility provision to be undertaken within an area of interest (national to local).
The tools range in capability from quick searches and simple reports to push-button analytical tools that aim to make complex modelling techniques (such as catchment area analysis) as user-friendly and intuitive as possible.
Each tool is supported with a guide, and outputs (maps, tables or charts) can be downloaded for use in reports or local systems for further analysis.
What won't it tell me?
- It is limited to 14 facility types
- Scenario testing in terms of closing or opening of facilities
- Sports clubs is a pilot dataset
- Does not include detailed programming information
- Does not include information on who uses the facilities
- Does not include individual sports or specific activities which take place on sites.