Need for the Project

Following the commissioned Active Lifestyle and Sports Strategy report by Strategic Leisure, completed in December 2012, the Project Board identified a number of critical concerns. These included student dissatisfaction as a result of poor quality and a lack of key facilities, chiefly artificial pitches.

There was wide consultation with students and senior staff by Strategic Leisure that highlighted consistent issues, needs and opportunities that have been driving this project:

  • A lack of capacity in the existing facilities; as student numbers grow and more live on campus this issue will be exacerbated.
  • Specific facility issues relate to the lack of any type of all-weather pitch, the size of the gym, lack of access to a swimming pool, the poor quality of the existing grass pitches (partly due to over use, but largely due to poor drainage), and the need for additional indoor sport hall space.
  • Whilst it is reasonable to expect a need for some off campus provision, particularly of a specialist nature, at present College pays high costs to hire external facilities for training and competition, along with transport costs to get students there and back.
  • The grant to the sports clubs of the Students Union is being spent on external hire and transport instead of sport because there are insufficient sports facilities of the right size, nature, and quality available on campus.
  • The quality of existing facilities – particularly the gym, aerobics studio and some of the grass pitches – is poor.
  • There is a significant amount of external use of College facilities, particularly the grass pitches, which exacerbates the issues of capacity and quality in relation to student access and use. The revenue received for this type of usage could easily be generated if College had its own artificial pitches. Indeed, there is opportunity to increase revenue through the provision of better quality facilities, which will be used by more students, more regularly.
  • Given the current low profile of sport in relation to other aspects of College life, there is significant potential to market both the participative opportunities better, and to raise the profile of sport amongst the student population.
  • There is significant opportunity to develop partnerships for facility provision with Runnymede Council.  


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