Part Four: 21st Century Progress and Diamond Reflections & Perspectives

Part Four takes us into the 21st Century of centres from 2000 up until early 2022. Chapter 10 reflects the changes and developments taken place in the planning, design, facility provision and operation of modern centres. Many of the principal centres developed from 2000 to 2021/22 are recorded on a year-by-year basis.

In addition Part Four presents a special research section – ‘The Numbers – the Finale: How many indoor sports centre are there in the United Kingdom?’ [prepared by Mike Fitzjohn and Malcolm Tungatt, with support from Hywel Griffiths]. This is an extensive analytical review of the numerical provision of centres. We have moved from one indoor sports centre in 1964, with the definition first established then by the Sports Council, to in excess of 4,500 today by that original definition. An even greater number fits the broader 2022 reality of the facilities comprising a ‘public leisure centre’, as recorded in Chapter 10, which sets out the modern-day picture.

Finally, Part Four presents Diamond Reflections and Perspectives – individual reflections taken from the first 60 Diamond years of sports centres. First the Editorial Advisory Group members reflect and then a number of other experienced recreation professionals.

Chapter 10

Chapter 10 explores  The 21st Century Revolution in sports and leisure centres and its context, including modern Universities.

THE NUMBERS – THE FINALE by Mike Fitzjohn and Malcolm Tungatt, December 2021

How many indoor sports centres are there in the United Kingdom?

It will be apparent from a reading of earlier SLLP Chapters that this is a question which has proved very difficult to answer and, quite simply, there is no universally ‘right’ answer. So this paper, and the four other papers outlined below on which the data is based, can only be an attempt. Difficulties include matters of definition across the four countries of the United Kingdom (UK),  the previous lack of any consistent data gathering and the embryonic nature of the ‘business’ in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, we now have the opportunity never previously undertaken to our knowledge, to address the question with rigour and consistency based on the ‘facilities databases’ of each of the four countries:

  • The ‘Active Places Power’ interactive website, established by Sport England in 2003/4;
  • The ‘Active Places’ spreadsheets provided to us by Sport Wales, also established in 2003/4;
  • The ‘Facilities Database’ spreadsheets provided to us by Sport Scotland, which were set up to provide data for their Facility Planning Model in the early 1980s;
  • and the ‘Active Places’ searchable information website established by Sport Northern Ireland in 2016.

[click on a blue bar and a PDF of the report will open]

Supporting Reports:

Diamond Reflections and Perspectives

Diamond Reflections and Perspectives

This function has been disabled for Sports Leisure Legacy Project.