Agenda item


The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       To provide members with an update on the development of a Belfast City Council Sports Development and Physical Activity Strategy (The Strategy) and the current timeline for the completion of the Strategy .


1.2       To provide a copy of the draft strategy which will be used for the public consultation.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to note:


                                             (i)     The updated timeline for development of the Belfast Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy 

                                            (ii)     The draft Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy summary document attached

                                          (iii)     The publication of the draft Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy for public consultation over a period of 12 weeks from November 2023 - January 2024.


3.0       Main report


            Key Issues


3.1       It was agreed by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 5th January 2018 that a Belfast City Council Sports Development Strategy and associated work plan would be developed. This Strategy was to provide a framework for future decision making on providing funding to National Governing Bodies of Sport delivering programmes in Belfast in support of existing funding streams and work programmes which enhance sporting opportunities for Belfast’s sporting organisations and individuals.


3.2       The People and Communities Committee of 5th June 2018 agreed a proposed Terms of Reference and proposed timeline. Since that date the Departmental Change Programme has prompted consideration of wider opportunities to clarify and align the links between sports development and Council’s strategic funding and programming decisions in the areas of asset development, health improvement and community development.


3.3       At the People and Communities meeting of 10 November 2020  it was agreed that the Terms of Reference be extended to include the following;


·        In line with the Belfast Agenda the outcomes are extended to 2035

·        Physical activity programming is considered as part of the pathway into organised sport

·        Considered and aligned with our Leisure Transformation Programme.

·        Identification of alternative sources of financing/partner opportunities.

·        Facility/asset utilisation and management is maximised through collaborative partnership approaches

·        Facility/asset planning and development is considered taking account of local, citywide and regional need.

·        Sport’s contribution to improvement of whole health is considered in the context of partnership working through the work of the Belfast Community Planning Partnership and associated Boards – particularly the Living Here Board

·        Sport’s contribution to community development is considered in the context of City & Neighbourhood’s Departmental approach to area working and neighbourhood regeneration

·        The strategy ‘working title’ to be ‘Belfast Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy’


            Due to Covid the development of this strategy was delayed.


3.4       In July 2022 following a quotation process Strategic Leisure were appointed to support council in the production of the Strategy.


3.5       Since the appointment of Strategic Leisure Council officers have been working directly with them. On the  27th  September 2022  initial introduction meetings involving both Council Officers and a number of Key Delivery Partners took place. More than 50 individuals and groups have been listened to.


3.6       A total of 370 responses were also received via ‘Your Say Belfast’.


3.7       Two workshops for elected members have also taken place.



3.8       Proposed Draft Timeline Subject to Committee approval


Background review of documentation policies and strategies

September 2022-Completed

Establish Board and structures for developing strategy

September 2022-October 2022


Initial face to face consultation with key stakeholders and schools

September 2022-October 2022


Review and Mapping

September 2022-October 2022


Focus groups established and face to face meetings to take place

October 2022 - December 2022


Wider public consultation to take place online using ‘Your Say Belfast’

October 2022-December 2022


Analysis of key issues identified with a focus on internal consultation and external feedback

November 2022-January 2023


Interim Draft Report produced and presented to elected members for discussion

March 2023 Completed

Review Draft Strategy and produce draft report

September 2023 Completed


Draft Strategy to be released for public consultation

November  2023- January 2024

Analyse feedback from consultation and amend/update strategy

February  2024- April 2024

Final Strategy to be presented to elected members 

April  2024- June 2024

Strategy Launched

June   2024- July 2024


3.8       Financial Implications


            Cost associated with the development of the new strategy and engagement of external partners will be met within existing departmental resources. Members are advised that no capital funding is currently in place and limited revenue funding is available to support a strategy action plan. This will need to be costed and resourced as the strategy is developed and needs become clearly identified.


3.9       Equality or Good Relations Implications/

            Rural Needs Assessment


            The draft strategy will be equality screened in line with the Council’s agreed process.”


            The Committee noted the updated timeline for development of the Belfast Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy and the draft Physical Activity and Sports Development Strategy summary document and agreed its publication for public consultation over a period of 12 weeks from November 2023 - January 2024.


Supporting documents: