Planning for Growth: Central Bedfordshire and the Facilities Planning Model
Posted: Thu, 14 Nov 2019 10:43
Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) used Sport England's Facilities Planning Model (FPM) in 2018 to help plan for new swimming pool and sports hall provision to meet the needs from planned population growth.
The Facilities Planning Model
The FPM is a spatial modelling tool that can help to assess the strategic provision of community sports facilities. The FPM is a computer model developed and used on license from Edinburgh University. The FPM covers the major community sports facilities of sports halls, swimming pools and artificial grass pitches. It has in the past been used for indoor bowls centres.
The FPM has been developed as a means of:
- Assessing the needs and requirements for different types of community sports facilities on a local, regional or national scale;
- Helping local authorities determine an adequate level of sports facility provision to meet local needs;
- Testing 'what if' scenario's to see the potential impact changes to the supply of provision and changes in demand may have on meeting needs for sports facilities in an area – this can include testing the impact of opening, relocating and closing facilities and of population changes (e.g. from new development);
- Helping to provide an evidence base to underpin strategies, plans and policies.
This 2018 use of the FPM followed on from CBC using the FPM in 2013 to help develop an evidence base to under pin its 2014 Leisure Facilities Strategy. The development of this strategy led CBC, through Sport England's Strategic Facilities Fund, to contribute £2m towards the construction of the new Flitwick Leisure Centre and a further £1m to the redevelopment of Dunstable Leisure Centre. The evidence base provided by the FPM played a key part in helping to secure this investment and in CBCs decision to commit over £36m of capital funding to these two projects.
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