Parks’ sports (bowls, cricket and football) facilities consultation

Closed 9 Jul 2019

Opened 28 May 2019

Results expected 30 Aug 2019

Feedback updated 13 Oct 2020

We asked

The council currently offers bowls, football and cricket facilities in parks at an estimated net cost of £201,000 each year. In May 2018, the council adopted a proposal to operate "chargeable sports facilities and other facilities in public parks only when they generate no cost to the council". We wanted to investigate the future use of the council’s football facilities, bowls facilities and cricket pitches that are currently available for hire.

A public consultation went out from 28 May 2019 and closed on 9 July 2019. The consultation looked at a number of options for these sites, including the option of transferring the assets (by long-term lease or potentially a licence) and their associated management to third parties through a bidding process.

You said

We received 608 responses to the consultation. The following options were chosen: 

Option A (58%) -  The council would invite expressions of interest from third parties, including sports clubs and sports bodies, in leasing and operating one, some or all of its facilities going forward.  This would be achieved through an Asset Transfer of buildings and full maintenance licence arrangements on pitches.

Option B (23%) - The council would continue to manage sports facilities in parks. The council would also increase its fees and charges for hiring these facilities to a level that covers all relevant maintenance and repair costs.

Option C (14%) – You have your own proposal to offer sports in parks at no cost to the council.  We ask you to put these forward here.

6% of respondents did not choose any of the options.

There were differences in the number of people choosing each option depending on the type of sport facility and the aspirations of the current users. However overall Option A was the preferred option.

The full consultation report can be downloaded here or requested from Craig.Hyslop@bristol.gov.uk

We did

The proposal to move forward with Option A has been developed and a paper put forward for consideration at Cabinet on 6th October 2020. This paper asks for approval to:

Approve the delivery of a sustainable financial future for football, cricket and bowls facilities in the city’s parks and green spaces by transferring their management and operation to capable third parties through a transparent application process. To further raise the quality of these facilities through investment and to approve a revised approach to charging (excluding the Downs) where facilities continue to be operated and managed by Bristol City Council, so that they are operated at no cost to the Council.

Overview

The Bristol Playing Pitch Strategy identified that Bristol has a large number of poor grass pitches and that a significant number of these are in council ownership.  These pitches are supported by an ageing stock of changing rooms/ pavilions.

The council currently offers bowls, football and cricket facilities in parks at an estimated net cost of £201K per annum.  In May 2018, the council adopted a proposal to operate "chargeable sports facilities and other facilities in public parks only when they generate no cost to the council". The council now wishes to consult on more detailed options to achieve this.

Why your views matter

We wish to investigate the future use of the council’s football facilities, bowls facilities and cricket pitches that are currently available for hire.  The consultation looks at a number of options for these sites, including the option of transferring the assets (by long-term lease or potentially a licence) and their associated management to third parties through a bidding process.

What happens next

The results of the consultation will be used to guide the decision on what the council do next with the assets in scope.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • All residents
  • Expert Stakeholders
  • Equalities group(s)
  • Service Users
  • Community & Voluntary organisations

Interests

  • Parks and green spaces
  • Sport and leisure