Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association (CLOA) – Supplementary written evidence (NPS0016)




We have focussed our asks on the areas that we believe are realistic within the current climate and that will make a substantial difference to tackling inactively and levelling up.


Our first ask - Structured engagement with local government on physical activity

The local government physical activity partnership (LGPAP) provides a readymade opportunity for central government to have meaningful engagement with senior representatives from the main local government agencies striving to tackle inactivity.

The partners (listed below) meet regularly with a common purpose to create a collective voice to represent, help improve and demonstrate the value of public sport, leisure and physical activity services by supporting local authorities across England to make independent, transparent and informed long-term decisions.

      Active Partnership

      APSE – Association of Public Service Excellence

      CLOA – Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association

      Community Leisure UK

      CSPN – County Sports Partnership Network

      LGA – Local Government Association

      Sport England

      UK Active

We would advocate that government mandates this group as a statutory consultee for government strategies and polices that include physical activity. A good example would be the emerging prevention strategy where the local government partners would be able to help shape the strategy at an early stage.


The group could also help shape broader strategies such as transport to ensure the benefits of physical activity are effectively integrated, which will support the achievement of wider health, community and economic outcomes.


Our second ask - A placed based levelling up fund


The Marmot review Heath Equity in England 10 years on shows the sobering challenges we face. Physical activity can play an increased and more effective role to help to reduce inequalities, but financial support is needed if we are to build back fairer.

We are proposing a population based local inclusion grant that is calculated using free school meals as the proxy for poverty.

The grant would be a ring fenced and available to local authorities on a match funding basis targeting people who are inactive and especially groups who have been disproportionally affected by COVID 19.

The level of match funding would differ depending on the initiative and also the ability of the local area to raise funds to further promote levelling up.

This would enable the often low cost barriers to be overcome that all too often prevent initiatives getting off the ground. The fund would pay for feasibility studies, supporting costs for groups to access spaces for sessions while they build up their income to become sustainable and innovative new ways to increase activity levels.

The grant would also be able to be used as match funding to encourage concessionary activities in leisure centres and for outdoor activities such as tennis.

This broad scope will enable local authorities and partners to be creative and develop solutions to their local challenges with a real focus on levelling up.

Our final ask - A capital strategy delivery grant

We support the need for further capital for leisure centres. We believe there should be a simple criteria for this grant based on:

A)    Demonstrating the need for the centre through a strategy

B)    Being able to show how the development will make an impact on levelling up

C)    Showing the carbon benefits of improving the asset

Thank you for the opportunity of submitting these requests, we would very much welcome a further discussion to talk through the potential implementation in more detail.

Further evidence requested

1)   Leeds obesity programme

This link provides a useful summary –


2)    Oxford’s Community Impact zone (the annual evaluation will be complete by March 2021)

Oxford City Community Impact Zone

3)   Case studies included below on -

      Inclusive tennis provision

      A friendly welcoming sports club case study


Inclusive tennis provision case study





Individual involved (Profile)


Oxford City Council, Together Active



Oxford City Council sought an external provider to support the delivery of tennis development programme to include the management and booking of all courts operated by the City Council as well as a wider tennis development programmed aimed at encouraging greater participation in tennis in Oxford.



What happened

A tender exercise was undertaken with the winning bid from Together Active for an initial 3 year period with the option to extend by a further 2 years.

The programme that together active deliver on behalf of the city council includes the operation and booking of all tennis courts (OCC owned) as well as a tennis coaching programme at both our sites and local schools with the aim of encouraging greater levels of participation.


How did they do it?


The tennis courts are now available to book online with key targets set around utilisation for key groups including - Number of participants:

-              Male

-              Female

-              Gender

-              Black and Ethnic Minority groups

-              White

-              Disabled

-              Individuals from Oxford’s regeneration areas (Barton, Blackbird Leys, Cutteslowe, East Oxford, Littlemore, Northway, Rose Hill and Wood Farm)

There are free to book sessions available at 2 sites in Oxford and a number of further free to book sessions available within the programme.

Key elements of the tennis coaching programme include –

Coached sessions across 4 sites: Florence Park, Alexandra Park, Bury Knowle Park and a single Tennis for Free session at Hinksey Park.

- Coaching programme/products: PT delivering a variety of own brand and LTA products for all ages and abilities; Tennis for Kids (5-10 years); Juniors (11-15 years); Premier Tennis Camps (5-15 years); Adults (16+ years) – Beginners, Rusty Rackets, Improvers, Intermediate/Advanced; Bootcamp Tennis; Hit & Mix Social Tennis

- New products and sessions: home-schooled sessions have been taking place at Bury Knowle; Tennis For Free, a partnership charity session providing free tennis sessions for juniors or adults;


Impact / Results / Achievements / Successes



We have seen a significant increase in total users of OCC tennis courts in particular at some of our key sites, including Florence Park where a recent refurbishment has also helped to drive participation numbers.

Numbers of people involved in coaching sessions has been significantly impacted by Covid-19, however they do still remain strong.

The contract also provides a significant income to Oxford City Council, supporting the ongoing delivery of the maintenance of the courts and investment in facility improvements.



A friendly welcoming sports club case study

Summertown Stars AFC – Girls football





Individual involved

Summertown Stars AFC, Summertown Stars AFC Girls & Women’s development officer, Local primary schools and Secondary Schools



Increasing the amount of girls playing football in Oxford and increasing the number of girls playing for Summertown Stars AFC


What happened

The club have worked for a number of years to develop strong relationships with local schools and have identified a clear plan for growth through their club development plan. The plan included creating a new role in the club committee to specifically focus on girls and women’s football development.


How did they do it?


As part of the club development plan the club committed to hosting an annual football festival for primary school girls. The tournament is run by club coaches and volunteers.

The club also offer regular coaching sessions in primary schools which further supports the development of girls football both outside and inside of the club environment.

The annual tournament is one of the key avenues for creating opportunities for girls to take part in football from an early age and with the growth of girls teams at the club they have created a clear pathway into regular football.


Impact / Results / Achievements / Successes


The club now have over 50 teams, in every age group from U6 to adults. In the last five years they have seen a spectacular growth in girls’ football, with female players now representing more than a quarter of the total.

On average the club have around 250 girls from 15 different primary schools taking part in the annual primary school tournament

The club now have girls teams in every age group including an adult women’s team creating a sustainable pathway for girls football in Oxford.


18 January 2021