Facility planning and playing pitch strategies

4global supports its clients with strategic facility and planning expertise using sector leading data, insight and mapping, to develop national, regional and local sport facility needs and priorities aligned to the latest planning policy and guidance.

As a Sport England sport facility design and technical framework partner, we work with a range of clients from governments and national governing bodies of sport, to local authorities, developers, planners and individual sports organisations. This has resulted in developing iconic venues such as the London 2012 Olympic Tennis and Hockey Centre, creation of national facility strategies for the Rugby Football League (securing £10million of new investment for the sport), Sport Northern Ireland, Sport Wales and the Welsh Government.

At a local level we have delivered over 100 Playing Pitch Strategies, built Facility Strategies and Open Space studies on behalf of Local Authorities providing a detailed evidence base for Local Planning Policy.

Our consultancy team utilises its experience and expertise to develop national facility strategies enabling our clients to prioritise their current and future facility investment and development. 4global developed a bespoke insight platform enabling the ECB to prioritise and focus investment into cricket facilities to support the future growth and development of the sport. Additionally we are strategic national facilities partner for Basketball England, auditing supply and demand for facilities across the country together with providing a framework and toolkit for future facility development.

We have delivered Playing Pitch Strategies, Indoor Built Facility Strategies and Open Space Strategies to over 100 Local Authorities across the length and breadth of the UK, from remote rural locations such as the Orkney Islands to major cities and urban environments such as Sheffield and inner London boroughs.

Our strategies are delivered in line with the latest National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Active Design principles and guidance including the Playing Pitch Strategy methodology (Sport England, 2013) and Assessing Needs and Opportunities Guidance (ANOG, Sport England, 2015). We provide a robust and a detailed evidence base for the current and future sport facility and open space needs and priorities to focus investment and development whilst underpinning Local Planning Policy. 

Our supply and demand modelling provides detailed insight into the demand for a new or existing facilities providing information on a wide range of factors such as drive time catchments, competition, user projections in visits per week, throughput, optimal capacity and facility size, sector benchmarks, price sensitivity, optimal programme review and Social Value analysis (the impact on the Sport England and DCMS wider health and wellbeing outcomes).

We have supported clients with a wide range of modelling including:

  • Single site latent demand projections for a new health and fitness facilities.
  • Full site optimal demand modelling (13+ facility types) for a new leisure centre site to help determine the optimal facility mix.
  • Scenario modelling e.g. what would be the impact on demand if we closed one leisure centre site and built a new facility in a new location.
  • Artificial Grass Pitch demand modelling for the FA and RFU to determine optimal location for new AGP investment.
  • Development of the Facility Planning Model (FPM) for the Welsh Government for health and fitness, swimming pools, sports halls, studios and squash courts including the amount of Social Value each facility generates.

Our supply and demand modelling provides insight into the demand for new or existing facilities. Using 4global’s Datahub which is most up to date data repository generated within the sport and leisure sector tracking over 500 million visits annually from over 1,600 facilities across the UK.

Our Open Space associates and consultants include qualified Green Flag Judges with 33 years combined experience of judging parks and open spaces against Green Flag award criteria, ensuring we have an unrivalled understanding of what makes parks and green spaces high quality and sustainable.

Our strategies have provided local authorities with a detailed evidence base enabling them to plan effectively and leverage significant housing development contributions and external funding. We have delivered Open Space Strategies to Local Authorities across the length and breadth of the UK, from remote rural locations such as the Orkney Islands to major cities and urban environments such as Sheffield and inner London boroughs.

We work in partnership with Developers, Planners, Local Authorities, Sport England and NGB’s to deliver needs assessments and options appraisals to ensure that any new housing development that impacts on outdoor or indoor sports facilities is appropriately mitigated.

This includes advice upon effective relocation and investment into new or improved sports facilities that benefit the local needs and priorities for sport.

Our highly experienced in-house GIS team is able to produce tailored mapping to our clients’ needs using the latest ArcGIS and wider ESRI interactive online mapping software. Our wide-ranging mapping outputs include demographic, population growth, facility audits by type, quality, community use, supply and demand modelling, catchment, public transport and drive time mapping.

4global have developed their own online Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) platform. The platform enables all playing pitch supply and demand data to be captured, stored and analysed in a single location which it can be easily updated and reviewed to provide a live evidence base to support local authority planners, NGBs and Sport England in the PPS process. The platform provides a live evidence base that can be kept up to date significantly reducing the future need and cost for local authorities to update their PPS every 3-4 years.