Sports Barn – Blackpool

Key Facts:

Project summary: Sports Barn – constructed to include Multi-Use Games Area with rubber crumb surface, wire mesh with roof. Location: Blackpool, UK Programme: Casual community sports use, for multi-sport, football, basketball, dodgeball and running plus some programmed community football outreach sessions for young people. Initiator: Blackpool Council Project Duration: Opened in 2007 (expected lifespan circa 20 years) Lead in Time: 18 months from funding approval Site Area: Sports Barn (37m x18.5m). Client Team: Blackpool Council Project Team: Led by staff from Blackpool Council. Bespoke design by Cass Associates Funding Sources: Sport England – Active England £500k Funding Type: Grant Project Costs (Build): Construction Materials: £500,000 Project Costs (Operation): Maintenance £10,000 per annum, Outreach £10,000 per annum Profitability/Loss: The facility is free to use and therefore does not generate income. The costs of operating the facility are met by Blackpool Council. Permissions / Permits: Planning restrictions re use of floodlighting – allowing use until 9.30pm Local Links: The Sports Barn is located within an area of high deprivation in Blackpool. The Sports Barn was built on a CPO site together with a Children’s Centre and GP Surgery Publicity/advertising: Website, local advertising

Project Evaluation:

Site Details & Ownership: The Sports Barn is located within an area of high deprivation in Blackpool. Located on Gorton Street - an urban area close to the North Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire. Ownership – Blackpool Council. Project Reach / Visitors / Target Audience: The Sports Barn is predominantly used for informal activities/sports and is available to use on an open access basis. Main usage is for multi-sports, football, basketball, dodgeball and running. The facility is also used for community football outreach sessions. The facility attracts around 10,000 attendances per annum. The main use is by children/young people; with casual use largely by 14-16 year olds and programmed outreach sessions accessed by 8-13 year olds. The facility is mainly used by males. Problems Encountered / Overcome: Issues to consider/overcome include:
  • The need to consider the long-term financial sustainability
  • Community ownership – the local authority were keen for the community to take ownership of the facility but this has not happened in practice yet – it is still reliant on input from the local authority. Needs more input – through developing local volunteers, local capacity and involvement from other partner organisations in the sports sector.
Key success factors highlighted include:
  • Location – in close proximity to housing
  • Co-location of the Children’s Centre and GP Surgery
Feedback from users / staff: The Barn has made a positive impact in terms of social inclusion/engagement of young people within an area of very high levels of deprivation. The Sports Barn provides an important space for young people to play. What next? Fixed facility – lifespan of about 20 years The Council is keen for the community to take ownership of the facility. This has not happened yet and will require more input in terms of developing local volunteers, local capacity and involvement from other partner organisations in the sports sector. Complementary Programmes: Links to other Sports facilities/programmes, clubs provided within the Blackpool area via outreach work. Project Website / Further Info: http://www.sportblackpool.co.uk