As part of the Councils aim to balance the books officers were asked to
present a range of major projects that could make a significant contribution
towards this ambition.
Officers felt that given the size of grant paid to the Dacorum Sports Trust it
was important that the Trust was part of the discussion.
Analysis of the current leisure provision indicated that of the £750,000 grant
paid to the Trust in 2007/08 in excess of £300,000 went towards subsidising
Berkhamsted Sportspace. Members may wish to note that Hemel Hempstead
Sportspace operates at no cost.
The main reasons for the scale of the subsidy appear to be related to the
scale of operation in that the facility is neither big enough nor small enough to
operate economically given the current provision offered.
The Trust undertook an initial evaluation of the service in the context of other
provision it provides across the Borough and began to develop some ideas
around providing for a different market. An outline plan will be presented to
members at the meeting.
Members will be aware from previous meetings on the subject of sports
provision in the Borough that children and young people now have different
expectations about how they spend there leisure time and the low level of
interest in traditional sports. Members will also be aware that nationally there
are significant issues and concerns around child obesity. It is clear that more
needs to be done to provide sport and leisure opportunities that recognise
future trends and changing expectations of all our residents.
We are aware that other non Dacorum Borough Council funded sport and
leisure provision is likely to improve through investment. Particularly the
“Schools for the Future” investment programme is likely to see sports halls in
secondary schools improve and, with the extended school program, may lead
to excess provision in terms of the availability of sports halls which support
traditional sports such as badminton. For example Sport England has recently
awarded a significant sum to JF