Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Further supplementary memorandum submitted by Sport England

  1.  Is the current structure of the ASA capable of supporting a nationwide swimming strategy?

  2.  The DCMS state in their memorandum that "it is for local authorities to ensure that spatial development plans and local sports development policies reflect the importance of swimming and set aside sufficient investment to improve or, if necessary, to replace existing facilities". Does Sport England think that local authorities will be able to cope with the estimated £10 billion bill necessary to update England's facilities, without dedicated central government funding or more Lottery provision?

  3.  Has the Government matched its rhetoric on the value of swimming with resources and investment in the sport?

  Please find below Sport England's response to request for further information:

  1.  The ASA's current structure can (and has) supported the production of a national swimming strategy. Implementing the strategy is dependent on Sport England in its role as Lottery distributor and Local Authorities in their role as owners and operators of pools.

  Recommendation: The ASA should publish its strategy immediately.

  2.  Funding of £10 billion is required to modernise sports halls and swimming pool facilities (£2 billion* alone to modernise swimming pools). Without this investment, large scale closure and deterioration of existing facilities will occur.

  Funding should be targeted and focused on areas of greatest need (defined in terms of population and level of swimming facilities). Sport England, through its extensive data base and research tools, can do this objectively across the country.

  Additional Treasury funding is urgently required. This funding should be a ring-fenced programme and build on existing knowledge about project evaluation and needs assessment. Sport England, through its Facilities Planning Model (FPM) and other research/management tools can, and do, advise, local authorities in this evaluation. Any funding should be directed to local authorities as they are the providers and operators of pools.


    —  Sport England continue to advise Local Authorities to determine need and priority locations, based on ASA strategy and Sport England facility assessment and sports development work; and

    —  Central Government provides a ring-fenced fund for swimming pool development managed by Sport England and delivered to support local authorities.

  3.  No, the Government has not met its rhetoric on the value of swimming with resources—as demonstrated above, ie £2 billion* to modernise existing stock.

6 December 2001

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