We are continuing to post relevant updates, guidance and information in the CLOA member’s forum. Please do check you are signed up and remember to turn on your notifications so that you receive updates between these fortnightly ebulletins.

A new resource is available to support local conversations about the future of public sport and leisure services and the valuable contribution they make to a multitude of national and local policy objectives. It includes key messages from the report Securing the future of public sport and leisure services, case studies, policy updates and support tools. The resource is hosted by the Local Government Physical Activity Partnership (LGPAP) in recognition of the Partnership’s aim to empower local government agencies to work collaboratively to improve and articulate the social and economic value of public physical activity service provision. CLOA is a strategic partner of LGPAP, along with other key national organisations from across the physical activity sector.  The design of the resource offers an ideal briefing for CEOs, Directors and Heads of Service.

Securing the future of public sport and leisure services is the culmination of a research project led by APSE, in partnership with the LGA and CLOA, to explore the future of public sport and leisure services, following the seismic changes to the sector as a result of the health pandemic.  It evaluates the current state of public sport and leisure services and sets out recommendations to ensure the survival and development of the sector.

ACE has launched its Impact & Insights Toolkit, which is intended to help evaluate the work of the National Portfolio Organisation’s (NPO’s) on the people that experience it, inform future practice and build greater understanding of the cultural sector as a whole.  Users can explore the data submitted by NPO’s and read a blog explaining the purpose of the initiative here.

The Government has launched the first-ever hospitality strategy to support the reopening, recovery and resilience of England’s pubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. Plans include making al fresco dining easier with pavement licenses extended and made permanent to help high street restaurants and ‘takeaway pints’ continue for another 12 months. The strategy also sets out measures such as, highlighting opportunities in the hospitality industry to jobseekers through DWP’s dedicated work coaches and helping the sector address current recruitment challenges.

The creative industries can drive the economy’s post-Covid recovery by contributing £132bn a year in GVA and creating 300,000 new jobs by 2025, according to new research details published by Oxford Economics. The UK Creative Industries: unleashing the power and potential of creativity, commissioned by Creative UK Group, shows the crucial role that the creative industries could have in levelling up the country.

A new report from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, supported by DCMS, gives a comprehensive analysis of the impact of COVID on the UK’s cultural sector and examines the role of innovation in shaping the recovery, renewal and future growth. Boundless Creativity includes specific recommendations for policy and research interventions.

A High Street Renaissance – commissioned by Arts Council England brings together previously published information and new polling, as well as case studies from across the country.  The report states that almost three quarters of people believe cultural spaces make their local area a better place to live and points to a body of evidence that demonstrates the role culture and creativity plays in; attracting footfall to the high street, generating spend, creating civic pride and the post-pandemic high street. The new polling data also suggests that half of adults would like to see more cultural experiences on their high streets. These examples provide an important indicator for the vital role of culture to our post-pandemic highstreets.

Emergency insourcing of leisure guidance – LGA has published a useful guide to help councils in an emergency position mobilise their leisure service. This is not intended to instruct or encourage councils to bring leisure services back in-house, but instead provides appropriate tools and considerations to support the process. This will assist the continuity of service for the community and ease the transfer from the existing provider to the council, either as an interim measure or on a longer-term basis.   A number of CLOA members and Executive Committee have also contributed their learning.

The most deprived communities tend to have the least access to green spaces according to the latest annual Green Space Index published by Fields in Trust.  Some parts of the UK have access to 50% less green space than others and there are also 2.8 million people living more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park. The index also shows that areas with the least number of accessible parks and green space tend to be those with a higher incidence of deprivation.

Navigating Local Systems’ is a resource developed by CLOA in partnership with Sport England that focuses on driving change in the local system to increase physical activity within communities. It shares learning and practical tools from 3 localities – Liverpool, Luton, and Wakefield, as they embarked on a journey to better understand the local system they work within.  

People and Places – the story of doing it differently Sport England has published the Local Delivery Pilots story, which highlights the challenges and milestones of implementing a new place-based way of working across 12 local communities. The full narrative shows what has been learnt about how to use a systemic approach to tackle inactivity, and the conditions, principles and practical considerations needed to influence positive change at every level. 

Sport England strategy Uniting the Movement sets out a 10 year vision from 2021-2031 to transform lives and communities by making being physically active a normal part of life for everyone in England. It sets how we need to change as a sector and an ecosystem, so that we can give people the opportunities they need now and in the future.
Local Authorities have a key role to play in supporting the five key areas:-
· Recover and Reinvent
· Connecting communities
· Positive experiences for children and young people
· Connecting with health and wellbeing
· Active environments
CLOA is proud to be a supporter of #UnitingTheMovement and a keen advocate of how the benefits of sport and physical activity improve people’s lives in so many ways.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis and the value that the government has attached to being physically active during the lockdown, the Local Government Physical Activity Partnership has produced a think piece Why an active community needs to be at the heart of renewal.  The intention is to stimulate debate and encourage places to create sustainable solutions that meet the needs of local communities. Local government has demonstrated throughout the pandemic that it is at the forefront of public health for local communities and has an intrinsic part to play in their short and long term recovery through promotion of physical activity and delivery of opportunities to be active. The return on investment from being physically active can deliver huge cost benefits with people experiencing better mental and physical health, living in less divided communities: from relieving pressure on our National Health Service to reducing prison populations. Physical inactivity is costing the UK £7.4bn per year, which is unsustainable. We urge all Local Authorities to plan for a more Active society in order to reap the long term rewards.

The CLOA Executive has responded to the Covid-19 crisis by adopting a ‘reset and build back better’ tone within the national discussion and issuing a call to reclaim the place-making value of the leisure, sport and culture sectors in the short and long term recovery and emphasising their role in meeting the broader needs of local people.  Working collaboratively at a national level we hope to help grow and support a responsive and resilient ecosystem for the future. Please do read An Appetite for a Rethink and share your thoughts with us.

Sport England have published new Planning for Sport Guidance to make it easier for local authorities and planning bodies to provide facilities that enable people to get active.  The guidance replaces and brings together four pre-existing guides Planning Aims and Objectives Guide, Forward Planning Guide, Development Management Guide and Supporting Advice Guide and focuses on 12 principles and suggested actions.

Sport England Local Insight Tool replaces the Local Sport Profile Tool and is powered by OCSI Local Insight mapping, enabling users to visualise Sport England data at the local level alongside dozens of other open data sources, providing insight into a wide range of socio-economic and demographic data down to the neighbourhood scale. You can also download tailored reports in comparison to England as a whole.

Connected Growth DCMS has published a manual for Local Enterprise Partnerships and Local Authorities highlighting why and how to build DCMS sectors into Local Industrial Strategies on the theme of connected growth.  You can download the whole manual and also separate sections on Tourism, Sport, Heritage, Arts & Culture here.

Physical Activity Strategic Think Piece co-authored by the Local Government Physical Activity Partnership (LGPAP). This first Think Piece relates to local council’s role in driving up levels of physical activity the strategic positioning of physical activity services.

Sport England Youth Personas has undertaken extensive research with scores of young people and created Under the Skin, which breaks down young people into six key personas. By understanding these various groups you will be better able to design programmes to get young people active.

NBS State of the Sector report Sport England’s National Benchmarking Service summary state of the sector report gives headline figures based on data collected from over 250 leisure centres across the country about how efficient and effective public sector leisure services are, including their strengths and weaknesses and trends in areas such as cost recovery, income generation and customer experience.

Public Health England has published a new Health Profile giving the most comprehensive picture of the health of England today and into the future.  The Health Profile for England report covers life expectancy; major causes of death; mortality trends; child health; inequality in health; wider determinants of health; and current health protection issues.

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CLOA and Sport England have developed a series of video testimonies that explain the process of Engaging in Commissioning, reflect on the impact achieved over time in a selection of localities and illustrate a growing pool of best practice.  The aim of these new learning resources is to share peer learning and help prompt thinking about how your service can engage with commissioners locally.

Active people, healthy places, has been produced by LGA in partnership with Sporta and CLOA to help decision-makers consider how to demonstrate strong evidence of impact, value for money and service excellence. The 12 case studies show examples where councils and their delivery partners have moved beyond cost and the numbers of people using their services to maximising the strategic benefits of sport and leisure, alongside demonstrating the value this has on broader council and partner agendas.

Sport England has published a guidance document to help local authorities choose the best facility management model. The guidance – plus accompanying case studies and glossary of terms – is an introduction to the different facility management options and aims to help councils adopt a more strategic approach to decision-making.

Explore best practices in cultural services – a new Culture Hub developed by the Local Government Association and Arts Council England highlights good practice in cultural services by councils and their partners – gathering inspiring case studies on everything from delivery models to officer leadership. Take a look and be inspired here.

Arts Council England has published four research reports that show the important contribution libraries make to a range of national and local policy areas.
Stand by me – The contribution of public libraries to the well-being of older people.
Re-writing the story – The contribution of public libraries to place-shaping
Libraries as community hubs – This report looks at libraries that are co-located alongside other services within community hubs.
Evidencing audience reach – This report shows that the Library audience is broadly representative of contemporary England.

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing has published new international evidence on the impact that sport, dance and physical activity have on the wellbeing of 15-24 year olds. Key findings in Sport, dance and young people’s wellbeing: what works? You can download a summary briefing here

Local Government Association and CLOA have produced a publication that highlights how councils are using culture to create a sense of shared identity and purpose in their areas, and to tackle their big issues of the day.  People, culture, place: the role of culture in placemaking contains 10 case studies where officer and political leadership have combined to develop innovative practice using cultural activities to bring about positive changes to their places. Together, they show how the arts and culture can be used to improve a wide range of measurable outcomes, from education and wellbeing to economic growth and community cohesion.

Research published by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) analyses the impact of charging (or not charging) on both visitors and museums. The research is timely, as an increasing number of museums are thinking about introducing admission charges in response to reductions in local authority funding.  The research report is accompanied by a practical guide that museums can use to help them make decisions about whether an admission charge is right for their museum.

The National Archives has published guidance on commercial opportunities for archives. The guidance draws on the experience of The National Archives’ commercial operations and also of experience and good practice from across the sector. The guidance has a very practical focus and aims to flag up the most fruitful areas for commercial activity, so as to support archives and their managers to build robust business strategies.

Sport and Recreation Alliance and ukactive have published Physical Activity and Health: Working Together to get the Nation Movingwhich sets out the key role that the sport, recreation and physical activity sector can play in improving physical and mental health outcomes.  The report includes a number of key policy recommendations to ensure that both national and local frameworks encourage and facilitate joined-up working to help get more people to be more active.  Plus case studies which share outcomes and learning from current projects as well as a section contributed by CLOA and Sport England offering top tips on engaging with commissioners of health and wellbeing services here.

The Cultural Commissioning Programme (CCP) has worked with two pilots to help them improve their approaches to commissioning to enable engagement by the arts and cultural sector. The Art of Commissioning draws together this learning and makes recommendations for other commissioners.  It includes case studies to support commissioners to innovate and deliver better outcomes through working with the arts and cultural sector.  A Summary Report is also available for download.

The Sport England procurement toolkit has been updated, with new resources now available. The leisure contracts and procurement toolkit places importance on achieving local outcomes, and reflects legislative changes and should replace previous guidance.  You can access the toolkit here.

The Libraries Taskforce has launched its second toolkit focusing on Community Libraries; the toolkit follows the process from community engagement through to setting up a community managed library, from a local authority and community perspective. It includes regulatory and operational issues that need to be considered and also looks at volunteering schemes in local authority libraries.  Previously, they published Libraries Shaping the Future: good practice toolkit ­– a best practice guide for chief executives and library portfolio holders.

Changing the Game for Girls: In Action this report from Women in Sport (WiS) highlights that only 7% of girls currently meet the government recommendations for physical activity.  Furthermore, a third of girls age 12-15 in England are classified as being overweight or obese.  The report also makes tried and tested recommendations to help schools quash the gender divide once and for all.

The Art of Commissioning documents the learning from the two commissioning partner pilots: Kent County Council and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. It shows how leaders and commissioners of public services can deliver achievable improvements to commissioning and procurement processes, to enable better engagement by the arts and cultural sector.

The Sport England MOVES tool will help you to understand the health and economic benefits of physical activity.  MOVES, which has been developed alongside the Health Economics Consulting group at the University of East Anglia, can estimate the value of an existing or planned programme of physical activity and sport among a specific population group.  It shows how much the risk of key diseases – like cardiovascular disease and diabetes – has been lowered for those who play sport. To find out more about how the tool works, and to use it, you will need to create an account on the Sport England website.

The Arts & Humanities Research Council’s three-year Cultural Value Project has published a major report – Understanding the value of arts and culture.  The report looks at how we think about the value of the arts and culture to individuals and society, and the methodologies we can use for capturing cultural value.

Public Health England resources to help local authorities address health inequalities. The guidance and resources, which include a series of written and video stories to encourage local action on health inequalities, emphasise that the creative arts can “help individuals build and maintain social connections and can be beneficial for health and wellbeing.”  Find out more here and here.

Understanding Women’s Lives: Re-Designing and Re-Positioning Sport and Physical Activity to Engage Women published by Women in Sport (WiS), offers practical guidelines to provide organisations with the means to engage more effectively with women and girls. The research, funded by Sport England, has helped Women in Sport define six key values that are fundamental in the lives of women and girls and influence their sporting behaviours. It also showcases practical examples of how to use the values system to engage in a more sophisticated way and increase the number of women playing sport.

Arts Council England report on the Contribution of the arts and culture sector to the national economy.  The report provides new evidence that the arts and culture sector makes a strong, tangible contribution to the national economy.  The report was launched in conjunction with the Creative Industries Federation who have published their own report on Arts and Growth; How public investment in the arts contributes to growth in the creative industries.  Together, these reports add momentum to the argument that the arts and culture sector means business: its contribution to the national economy and to the creative industries is considerable.


Transforming local archive services – The Local Government Association and The National Archives have published a series of 13 case studies that illustrate the potential of local archives to reach out and engage people, helping to develop understanding of the past and present, promoting transparency and contributing towards a range of wider community outcomes.  The series uses examples of what can be achieved despite a background of continuing austerity.  Download a copy here.

The health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries Arts Council England have published research that shows libraries can “save the NHS money and make a positive contribution to people’s health and wellbeing”. The study looks at the value of the health and wellbeing benefits of library engagement measured through economic value, using methods that are consistent with the HM Treasury Green Book guidance. It shows that the benefits people gain from public libraries could be valued nationally at around £748.1m per annum.

Independent library review – William Sieghart along with the advisory group, visited libraries around the country and received 200 submissions of written evidence.  The resulting report has been hailed by campaigners as the last chance to halt a decline in which 324 libraries have closed since 2011 and recommends a complete “reinvigoration of the library network” for the 21st century, with every library in the country fitted with wi-fi in order to attract people as an alternative to spending time in cafés.  Read the recommendations here.

The role of culture and leisure in improving health and wellbeing – In recognition of the vital role culture and leisure play in improving the health and wellbeing of local communities, CLOA have published a guidance document to help commissioners and providers of culture and leisure services in England to understand and engage more effectively and collaboratively with this key agenda. The guidance aims to improve understanding about the structures, frameworks and outcomes relating to public health. We have also developed a self-assessment to enable you identify what stage you are at and to help you plan your approach – (download here) The role of culture & leisure in improving health & well-being – self-assessment for practitioners

Moving More, Living More – The Cabinet Office Legacy Unit has launched a document that outlines the change in government policy towards physical activity.  The approach builds on the belief that action on physical activity needs to be a long term effort and is best tackled through a team approach across government and all sectors. The initiative also looks to shine a light on existing good practices, provide opportunities which work for people and recognise and tackle barriers that prevent people being active.

ukactive’s report Turning the tide of inactivity approaches inactivity as a stand-alone public health issue that needs to be targeted and treated distinctly. In an analysis of increasing levels of physical inactivity across England, 150 local authorities are ranked from the least inactive to the most inactive. The report calls for cross party national strategy to turn the tide of inactivity and local authorities to invest in targeted inactivity interventions in line with other top tier health concerns, such as alcohol misuse and smoking.

Improving culture, arts and sporting opportunities through planning – CLOA have been working with The Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) and other partners to develop a non-statutory planning guide in response to the new planning framework to better help illustrate these positive planning outcomes. In recent years culture, arts and sport have been widely used to drive regeneration, build cohesive communities and change the way that places are perceived.  This document builds on the National Planning Policy Framework core planning principle supporting health, social and cultural well-being . You can download your copy of the guide here.

NICE guidance to boost walking and cycling is aimed at commissioners, managers and practitioners involved in physical activity promotion or who work in the environment, parks and leisure or transport planning sectors.  The publication urges local authorities to devise a coherent, long-term plan for boosting active travel and sets out how people can be encouraged to increase the amount they walk or cycle for travel or recreation purposes. You can download the guidance here.

Community libraries for the 21st century Arts Council England and LGA have published a report that looks into the different ways in which communities are involved in library service delivery. From this research guiding principles have been developed to assist local authorities who are considering reviewing the delivery of their library services to work with their communities.

Engaging in commissioning is a practical resource pack jointly produced by the LGA, CLOA, Sport England and the Arts Council. It aims to help the sector engage with other public services through commissioning, to bring sport and culture to more people and contribute to better outcomes for individuals and communities. The resources have been informed by the practical experience of councils and cultural sector organisations and distil the lessons learned. There is a self-assessment guide to help you assess where you are and a step by step guide to help you plan your approach.

Affordable facilities Sport England have devised guidance with a particular focus on the ‘affordability’ and ‘future financial sustainability’ of leisure facilities, The information is an essential reference for new community swimming projects or where the rationalisation of the existing facilities is being considered. Guidance for affordable pools can be found here and guidance for sports halls here. Whilst the emphasis is on affordability and generating income the documents and downloadable CAD files illustrate how new projects can meet a full range of community needs and comply with best practice standards.

The role of Culture and Sport in supporting Adult Social Care – revised. Adult Social Care is facing some major challenges with reducing resources and increasing life expectancy. By 2026 there will be 1.7 million more adults who need support to help them live with conditions that seriously reduce the quality of their life. Culture and sport can play an important role in supporting adult social care to deliver better outcomes for people. To help increase understanding of the opportunities for the sector to contribute through the strategic commissioning process and to bring the guidance up to date by reflecting the latest policy and legislation, this well-received publication has been revised.

A guide to developing a local outcomes framework for culture and sport. Working with Local Government Association we’ve produced an updated version of the highly valued Outcomes Framework for Culture & Sport which can help you demonstrate the contribution culture and sport makes to better outcomes for individuals, communities and places. This online tool reflects the latest policy developments and we have created a fact sheet to download about how to get the most out of the tool, outlining the benefits of developing your own outcomes framework, explaining the elements that form the framework and also providing an overview of the stages involved in creating your own version locally.

The role of Culture and Sport in reducing Crime and Anti Social Behaviour  Culture and sport have an important role to play in preventing young people becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. This document aims to help providers of culture and sport services better understand community safety and crime reduction agendas. It also offers a number of practical real world case studies that have a track record of successfully diverting those most at risk of offending through culture and sports based activities.

CASE is the DCMS Culture and Sport evidence programme, which aims to strengthen understanding of how best to deliver culture and sporting opportunities of the highest quality to the widest audience generating the best outcomes for society. The data can be used to support the case for investing in culture and sport. The key resources are: