Boost for future of sports facilities in borough

A new sports facilities strategy for Welwyn Hatfield is published today, unlocking the potential for investment in new facilities and funding for local clubs.

Gold Coast Games 2018 - Danny Loo

A new sports facilities strategy for Welwyn Hatfield is published today, unlocking the potential for investment in new facilities and funding for local clubs.

The strategy sets out what may be needed in the future in terms of new or enhanced facilities and empowers the council to negotiate significant funding from developers as part of their agreement to build new homes in the borough.  It will also enable local clubs and associations to make funding bids from national and regional sports organisations by having robust evidence to make their case.

The borough's existing facilities are summarised in the document, underlining the wide range of provision and high standard of many of the existing facilities.  It also highlights the large amount of publicly owned facilities in Welwyn Hatfield compared to other areas.

The strategy outlines a series of recommendations, including:

·        Produce a detailed masterplan for Gosling Sports Park, setting out how the site could best meet the needs of residents in the future.

·        Explore opportunities to provide additional indoor swimming pool space through partnership working.

·        Consider bringing Hatfield Leisure and Swim Centres together in one location.

The council has worked with independent specialists to draw up the strategy which looks at local need over the next 15 years and beyond. It has the backing of national sports governing bodies and Sport England, having followed their national guidelines and methodology.

Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Communications, Councillor Terry Mitchinson, added: "We know the borough is already well served in terms of local sports facilities which are the envy of many. But we also know some local sites require investment as more people come to live, work and study in the area. This strategy helps us to assess what the future needs are, and enables us and our partners - including local clubs and associations - to meet those needs in the years ahead."

Executive Member for Planning, Councillor Stephen Boulton, said: "This strategy is one of a range of documents we need to take account of our growing population and its diverse needs for sport, leisure and recreation. This is important as we move towards adopting a new Local Plan as it gives us a robust evidence base when negotiating with developers for new facilities."

Find out more about the strategy on the main council website.