Research into leisure provision in Warsop has identified key areas for improving the health and wellbeing of residents.
The Living Well in Warsop study, funded by Sport England and Mansfield District Council, was conducted last year by sports and leisure consultants Strategic Leisure Ltd on behalf of the council, working in partnership with Warsop Parish Council, Vibrant Warsop and Active Notts.
The report reviewed community sports and leisure provision and suggests improvements that could lead to the right mix of activities, services and facilities to meet the community’s needs.
It recommends investment in people, programmes, projects and places and puts the community at the heart of decisions about future investment. The district council and its partners will now look at the recommendations and do further work to ensure any plans are achievable and sustainable.
The study’s report identified the key issues preventing people from being more active. They include a need to improve awareness of what activities are currently available, and recognition that they do not always meet local need.
There were also issues with the quality of available facilities and a lack of a joined-up approach to provision. Residents also expressed problems accessing activities due to travel issues, cost, time and not wanting to take part on their own.
Among the priority areas it identified are:
- The need to identify additional resources to enable Vibrant Warsop and community groups to proactively support the development of activities
- Improving access to current facilities
- Improving awareness of current activities and facilities
- Exploring the possibility for further development of activity programmes and potentially a free community bus service to other facilities and swimming pools.
- Potential work on a range of facility developments.
Councillor Amanda Fisher, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Wellbeing, said: “This important piece of work identifies some key challenges, which, along with our partners, we are determined to address.
“Improving the wellbeing of residents is one the council’s key priorities and we want people across the whole of the district to live longer and healthier lives by promoting opportunities to be physically active.
“In Warsop, there are high rates of long-term illness, disability and mental health issues, as well as problems with obesity among both adults and children, so it is important that we try to encourage more people to be more active.
“It is clear from the report that there is a widely held view that Warsop has been forgotten and let down. There is a considerable amount of trust to rebuild and we aim to work closely with the community.
"This is not about the council imposing solutions but about working with partners and helping the community to be actively involved in making improvements.
“Any plan has to be achievable and sustainable. Simply building new facilities will not necessarily deliver what the community needs. This is as much about changing hearts, minds and lifestyles.
ldquo;It is not that there are no leisure activities in the area but there needs to be a more joined-up approach between all partners. Vibrant Warsop will play a pivotal role so it will be important to support this organisation and other local providers.
“We need to ensure that more people know what is available in Warsop and surrounding villages and that the activities and facilities are accessible. The lack of and cost of public transport was identified as a particular issue in Warsop where nearly one in four people has no private means of transport, so trying to find ways of addressing this will be a priority.”
Andy Burgin, Chair of Warsop Parish Council, said: "We look forward to working together with all the partners and leisure providers in Warsop to help ensure the people of this parish can enjoy and access a variety of leisure opportunities.
"Warsop has tremendous community spirit and I am confident we can all pull together to make real improvements."
Maddy Pritchard, of Vibrant Warsop, said: "This report sets out really clearly what we all need to focus on to improve leisure provision in Warsop and our organisation welcomes being a central part of how we move plans forward.
"We believe Warsop is already a fantastic community with lots going on and it can be even more brilliant if everyone works together with a united approach."
Ilana Freestone, Chief Executive of Active Notts, said: "We are delighted to be working closely with Mansfield District Council and specifically as part of the Warsop project.
"We believe physical activity levels will improve if we listen to what people in our communities are telling us and respond by working together across the whole system of services to support what is needed at a local level, and this work is a great example of that."
The full report can be found at https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/livingwellwarsop.