OCTOBER 2021: News from the Mayor Marvin Rees

September 28 2021

Investing for the future of sport and leisure in Bristol

Access to high quality sport and leisure facilities is one of my administration’s top priorities. Our aims are to increase participation in sport and exercise, and lay the foundations for us to develop and support elite athletes of the future.
Growing up, sport was a gateway for me to develop confidence and discipline. Some of my happiest memories are in the boxing gym or on the rugby field. I’ve carried that love of sport with me all my life, and I know so many Bristolians share my passion for keeping active.
We are asking for your views on how we should invest in Bristol’s leisure centres and sports facilities.
We are bucking the trend by proposing investment in our leisure facilities, despite managing finite and declining budgets after more than a decade of cuts from central government.
The council has an important role as one of many leisure facility providers. We currently have nine council-owned leisure centres, and eight school leisure facilities that are available for the public to use.
It is important that we get the most impact per pound that we invest in terms of Bristolians’ health and fitness. Our draft strategy for investment in Bristol’s leisure centres has two defining principles. First to improve facilities that are in areas where usage is high, so our investment reaches the highest number of people. And second to invest in areas where less wealthy citizens use and support leisure facilities.
Our leisure centres in Horfield, Easton and South Bristol Pool are all hugely popular sites that have a positive impact on their local communities. Henbury and Hengrove, which have long-term funding models in place, are also to be retained in the council’s leisure portfolio. This will mean we have a core offer of five state of the art leisure centres for Bristol that are spread out across the city and serve areas of high deprivation.
You can give us your views on our plans to invest in sport and exercise in the city by responding to the consultation, which you can access at https://bristol.citizenspace.com