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Capital project development

A strategic approach to sport and physical activity services and provision, which identifies and delivers local priorities, can make such a difference. A clear, strategic and sustainable approach to guide you when developing capital projects can play an important role in making sure investments into services and facilities are effective. 

Our guidance explores the key principles and important aspects of delivering a major sport and leisure project, from the all-important early vision through to design, procurement and sustainable operation. It also signposts where additional help, advice and guidance can be found at various stages along the way.

Girls guarding shooter during basketball game

Supporting local priorities with a strategic approach

The Strategic Outcomes Planning Guidance has been developed to help local authorities take a deliberate approach to maximising the contribution sport and physical activity makes to its local priorities. 

Local authorities face many challenges when developing capital projects, from resourcing pressure on budgets to changing demographics and increasing demands on services. As a result, they and their partners are increasingly having to prioritise what they continue to invest in and support.

That means sport and physical activity is increasingly being incorporated into solutions designed to tackle issues such as educational attainment, social cohesion, obesity, social isolation and mental health issues. 

With that in mind, we’re keen to support local authorities through this journey and help them make better, more impactful investments into facilities and services. 

You can also use our Procurement Toolkit to help you select a suitable management model. The guidance sets out a strategic approach to sport investments and helps you deliver an efficient and sustainable facility network, which can increase participation and deliver on a range of project-specific outcomes.

Derby Velodrome

Strategic Outcomes Planning Guidance 

In order to make an effective investment into facilities and services, it’s essential to have a clear, strategic and sustainable approach to sport and physical activity. While all local authorities will have some or most of this work in place, this cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

Our Strategic Outcomes Planning Guidance is designed to help you create a focus and vision on local outcomes informed by customer insight. This will deliver interventions that affect behavioural change in your target audience, ultimately delivering the desired results for your local authority. 

The guidance describes the bespoke approach required to ensure investment best meets local strategic outcomes and the needs of your community. Split across four stages, it seeks to provide key principles to support your journey,  while recognising the resourcing challenges facing local authorities. The four stages are outcomes, insight, interventions and commitment.

At each stage, the guidance signposts where additional help or advice can be found, dependent on the local authority’s current circumstances. This could be at the beginning of a commissioning cycle, at the change of a political administration, or when new facilities or service deliveries are required.

Read our full guidance on how to ensure your investment best meets local strategic outcomes and the needs of your community.

Leisure contracts and procurement toolkit

Alongside making effective investments in capital projects, ensuring good quality, affordable sport and leisure facilities are also important in getting more people active and tackling multifaceted issues such as educational attainment, obesity and social isolation.

With that in mind, it's vital for local authorities to select the most appropriate facility management model and ensure it's delivered in the best possible manner.

The Procurement Toolkit is a walkthrough of the different facility management options available to local authorities. It aims to help you adopt a strategic approach to investment in sport so you can to deliver desired local outcomes in a financially sustainable way.

Should you wish to view the toolkit appendices, please email

How does the guidance work?

The Procurement Toolkit helps local authorities select and optimise their leisure delivery mechanism with detailed guidance on issues specific to their long-term goals and chosen management model.

For example, the section on procurement retains the purpose of aiming to reduce time and cost within the procurement process for clients and potential partners.

The guidance will continue to be updated on an annual basis or when there are legislative changes.

Importantly, it doesn’t replace the need for specialist legal and consulting advisors. It supports their optimal use to ensure that they're deployed as effectively as possible, enabling them to add value in key areas.

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