fibodo – Written evidence (NPS0128)


Communities to lead transformation of sport and recreation participation



Despite seeing huge investment over the past 2 decades we are only seeing minimal increases in participation in sports and recreation. (Supporting Evidence 1)


Grassroots sport and recreation matters for many reasons. It provides the opportunity for millions of people to enjoy the simple pleasure of taking part. But it also provides much more than that. Grassroots sport and recreation is a means of delivering a much wider social impact: it helps people to lead healthier lives, to develop new skills for employment and to engage with their local communities.


By devolving sport and recreation decisions and spending to local level we will empowering communities to take ownership of their own health and fitness. By looking at participation at local level, and including it in overall community development strategies. We can revolutionise the way we get people active and see much greater increases in participation levels and reducing the number of inactive people.


Giving ownership of the strategy and implementation to local people we will create a greater connection sport and recreation as all stakeholders will want the scheme to succeed. Seeing markable improvement in the physical, mental and financial health of the members of the community.


We believe that we can also use sport and recreation as a way to build community wealth and use it as a way to begin levelling up deprived communities.


Communities are highly diverse, complex ecosystems. How communities successfully evolve is one of the key challenges of our time. We will provide a framework and the digital tools to equip communities with everything they need to build thriving local economies.


1.           Connecting people and places through digital inclusion so every community asset is used to its fullest.

2.           Bringing activity to the high street.

3.           Creating community wealth by giving local people everything they need to earn in the local community.



Covid has had a devastating effect on local communities, some industries could take years to recover, the UK's unemployment rate has hit 5% for the first time in more than four years, meaning that many people will need to retrain or up skill in order to survive, this could lead to a micro business revolution.


Encouraged by the introduction of a vaccine we will soon see people back to the office, back to the gym and back to the pub. The pandemic could give way to an era of rapid productivity growth with businesses adopting new processes, technologies, and individuals embracing the digital revolution.


fibodo is at the heart of this, championing local experiential businesses where people and places are brought together through technology.



Digital Inclusion


Recent research published by the BBC has found that 21% of Britain’s population lack the basic digital skills and capabilities required to realise the benefits of the internet.


Around a third of SMEs don’t have a website, and when we include VCSEs this figure rises to 50%. Just 28% of VCSEs (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations) have the skills to transact online. (Supporting evidence 2)


This project will enable anyone to have their own website and app that enables them to share the skills, experiences and earn and decent living.


Access - giving everyone the ability to go online and connect with our communities, enjoying activities together

Skills - to provide easy to use tools to benefit from the internet and relevant apps.

Motivation - provide people with the knowledge as to why using the internet is a good thing.

Trust - offering support to reduce the fear of the unknown, connecting everyone from within our diverse communities.


Active High Streets to promote healthier living


We don’t want to save the high street we want the community to take ownership of it.


The modern-day, high streets are blighted by boarded windows, betting shops and fast food outlets. Since Woolworth closed its doors for the last time in 2009 the high street has been on the decline.


Unfortunately the traditional high street model has been too reliant on retail and is therefore not resilient. But with the convenience of Netflix do we really miss blockbuster?


So how do we turn failing high streets into activity led, wellbeing destinations populated by experiential businesses committed to improving participation in sports and recreation?


Multi purpose 

By turning vacant properties and open air destination into multi-purpose spaces where several complimentary businesses can operate from it will ensure close to full occupancy.



Incentivising local wellbeing businesses to operate from the high street and within our communities.


Community Led

Championing community led activities such as high street Olympics.


Digitally Empowered

All brought together by easy to use technology, connecting people online to operate offline.




Building Community Wealth through Sports and Recreation?


Community Wealth Building is a people centred approach to local economic development. Community Wealth Building seeks to restructure the composition of the economy itself so that wealth is widely held, shared and democratised. It reorganises local economies to be fairer and stops wealth flowing out of our communities, towns and cities, and instead places control of this wealth into the hands of local people, communities, businesses and organisations. A number of places across the UK, are now trying to developing strategies to implement community wealth building in their local economies but are yet to highlight the importance of s&r


By transforming high streets into wellbeing destinations we can start building thriving local economies from the grassroots up.

(Supporting Evidence 3)


Championing local communities


The bleak economic outlook will require local authorities across the nation to look for the greatest return on investment. LM3 (Local Multiplier 3) is a methodology that can be used by companies, government, or community organisations to measure how their spending generates local economic impact and benefit to communities.


The tool was first applied on a large scale within Northumberland County Council where it was shown that:


Every £1 spent with a local supplier is worth £1.76 to the local economy, and only 36 pence if it is spent out of the local area. That makes £1 spent locally worth almost 400 % more to the local economy.

(Supporting Evidence 4)


The latest evidence from Sport England and Sheffield Hallam University also backs this up by showing a return of £4 for every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity. By digitally empowering people within the community we provide a unique solution, driving both the economic prosperity and the wellbeing of our communities. Utilising capacity that already exists within local facilities, kickstarting local economies and driving the transformation of our high streets. (Supporting Evidence 5)





How do we achieve our goals?


To begin the journey of creating a digital transformation strategy can be daunting, but in simple terms we are creating a marketplace for activity engagement. The journey will see us understand the physical assets available within the community, build the platform to accommodate the unique audiences of buyers and sellers, reaching out to all these user groups to see the digital community come Infographic showing the different inputs to creating a Healthy Community, such as understanding community groups, asset understanding and community wellbeing.alive!



Once the digital community is live data (anonymous) will soon begin to flow, offering up amazing insight into local trends. Information on new businesses created, activity groups thriving, user groups engaging will all be available at the click of a button, giving the insight to make intelligent investments to create a Healthy Community.




Stage 1 : Discovery: Community Asset Mapping


Community Assets are core to the strategy. These can be better utilised and act as the catalyst to empower our communities to take charge of their own wellbeing.


We will begin by community asset mapping, a strength-based approach to community development.

Identify the community assets and venues across the communities.  Identify Anchor Assets and connecting them by a single consumer facing digital platform,


By using a data driven approach we can find new ways to utilise community assets, meaning more activities, for more people in more places. Making sure that every community asset is used to its fullest.

Offering opportunities for all, removing barriers to participation, and empowering the community to build successful businesses and initiatives within the infrastructure.



Stage 2 ; Digital Hubs - People & Places connected through Digital


At the heart of the project will be a practical, easy to use Digital platform.


Technology has changed the way we live our lives, shaping our consumer and wellbeing habits and now we want to use proven technology to build communities.


Using fibodo technology we will create the community hub – in effect a digital notice board that is available to all. We will help to create the framework and infrastructure in line with each communities objectives.


The community hub, populated by local people and businesses  will be an activity finder where local people can find activities, services, and volunteering opportunities. The activity finder will enhance the social prescribing of a variety of activities. Think of it as a Netflix for local activities. Searchable by location, budget and general interest.




Stage 3: Engaging our Communities


Community Managers will be invited to create “venue profiles” and publish their schedules.


Individual activity providers (Coaches, Teachers, Instructors, Organisers) are then invited to create their profiles, adding their range of products and services, publishing their schedules with the technology automatically booking facility space, when required, to deliver the experiences.

The local community drives overall awareness, through a single campaign channel, giving clear messaging and opportunities to all.

As more facilities join, more people create activities, more members will be begin to engage and participate. The community hub will re-build high streets, up-skill the community, and improve the wellbeing of all within it.



Stage 4: Data: Collection


Data collection is the process of gathering information from different sources to find answers to specific problems and questions. The
goal is to discover quality evidence that allows you to understand the performance of the community, in terms of both facilities and how users engage.

Data empowers you to make informed decisions, spot problems, back up arguments, discover trends, and understand your community. Today, collecting data is the key to almost any strategy.

The 2 main types of data are quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative - data can be expresses as a number and qualified, eg: Number of visits, average length of activity, key price point and peak participation times.
Qualitative - data is information that can’t be expressed as a number, eg: Favourite activities, Ethnicity, Social status, peer group engagement.

Determining the goals of your data collection strategy, making it clear to all the stakeholders why you want to collect data and regularly publishing the outcomes will ultimately define the success of the project.



Stage 5 : OutcomesInfographic showing the impact of sustainable environment, brighter futures, inclusive economy, active & healthy lifestyles and safe & pleasant communities.


Inclusion Statement:


Equality is key to raising levels of participations


The greatest strength of a community is the coming together of different people to work towards a shared goal, in order to do this our projects will be committed to equality and will not discriminate against any member of the community because of race, colour, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and basis of disability.



Supporting Evidence


Every £1 spent with a local supplier is worth £1.76 to the local economy, and only 36 pence if it is spent out of the local area. That makes £1 spent locally worth almost 400 % more to the local economy. This is how  (7).png1)

2) Government Digital Inclusion Strategy


3) How we built community wealth in Preston - Achievements and lessons


4) About LM3


5) Hallam research reveals four-fold benefit to investing in community sport and physical activity


2 February 2021