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and funding
gym. Funding for the project came
from a number of sources, including a
signifi cant investment of £250,000 by
Sport England and a further £30,000
funded through the government’s free
swimming initiative.
Richard Taylor from Inspirit says: “It’s
vital that private companies such as ours
offer sound advice to our customers,
and this includes advising them as to
how they can secure funding. Using
our wealth of experience in fi nancial

planning within the public and private
sectors, we can help fi nd a fi nancial
solution for most projects.”
securing funding
These projects clearly show that
funding is still being granted to viable relation to the obesity targets set by
Family fun Soft activity areas are
schemes, but what are the boxes that central government (see p46).
among the facilities being funded
operators need to tick to improve their Meanwhile, if projects are designed
chances of securing funding? The to address specifi c local targets such
answer to this is really quite simple: as extended school hours and tackling facility providing services that the local
look at the government agenda on anti-social behaviour, they can receive community actually wants to use. This is
health and welfare and understand how funding for new equipment. For example, how sustainable facilities are developed.”
your project could provide solutions Barnsley Premier Leisure recently Watts agrees: “It doesn’t make good
for your local community. converted an old squash court into a business sense to start with a design
The installation of 13 Dance Machine youth activity room containing an Active and try to make it work commercially
systems by Pulse at Balby Carr Wall, a 16-mat Dance Machine system for you. It’s more benefi cial to deliver
Community Sports College in Doncaster, and Vibe children’s circuit that was appropriate facilities for the demographic
funded by the local PCT, is a good funded by the Youth Sports Trust. profi le of the area. Feasibility studies are
example. PCTs can work closely with A similar project at Halesowen Leisure paramount, as nothing tangible will be
local authority sites to provide better Centre in Dudley saw the PCT part-fund achieved without one.”
fi tness provisions and sporting activities a ZigZag interactive gym to help combat According to Watts, the economic
to improve the health and wellbeing the borough’s rising obesity problems, climate clearly presents an opportunity
of the local community, especially in while West Midlands police provided for public leisure operators. “With
a further £12,000 towards equipment booming sales of cosmetics, affordable
which it hopes will help combat crime fi tness should slot into the same
and anti-social behaviour in the local area. category and should be similarly
The fact that the economic climate is buoyant as consumers look for cost-
making operators think harder about effective ways to look and feel better
their objectives for new equipment and about themselves in these challenging
redevelopment is a good thing according times,” she says. But the dominance
to Adrian Hill, leisure sector manager at of local authorities and leisure trusts
Willmott Dixon. “The public sector is won’t last forever, says Hill: “Long-term
now looking at sport as part of the wider the private sector will have a role to
picture, and how it fi ts with primary play as the government develops its
Meeting local needs Pulse has
healthcare and other related areas,” he Commissioning Framework that will
converted under-used squash
says. “Facilities must be developed on see private and public sectors working
courts into gym facilities
a needs-led basis, with the fi nished together to provide leisure facilities at
grassroots level.”
Johnson agrees: “Just because the
current climate favours the local
authorities doesn’t mean that the

Always carry out a feasibility study,

Think about the different areas of private sector will lose out entirely. This
no matter what type of funding you’re funding available to your facility. For type of situation has happened before
looking for, as this will almost always example, tackling anti-social behaviour and the private sector will fi ght back
be required may present new funding avenues when circumstances favour them again.

Ensure there is a demand for the

Be realistic – you will only be able Local authorities need to be ready for
services you want to offer: know your to secure funding for a realistic plan this with the best possible facilities
audience and what they will want. This

Talk to people who have done it targeted at the right people.”
information should form a part of the before to get advice from those who
feasibility study have managed to secure funding claire james
52 Read Health Club Management online june 2009 © cybertrek 2009
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