Next week, Cabinet members will approve Barnsley’s Playing Pitch and Outdoor Sports Strategy (PPOSS).
Our strategy outlined the enhancement and strategic development of playing pitches and outdoor sports facilities in the region. The strategy will play a vital role in promoting sporting opportunities, encouraging an active lifestyle among residents, and fostering a sense of community engagement.
The PPOSS aims to provide a clear framework for the maintenance, improvement, and expansion of existing outdoor sport facilities. Developed in alignment with Sport England's Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) Guidance for playing pitch sports and Assessing Needs and Opportunities Guide for "non-pitch" sports, this strategy offers an evidence-based approach to planning decisions and funding bids while adhering to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The strategy's vision resonates with the Barnsley Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2021-2030), emphasizing the importance of improved health, social wellbeing, and sufficient community and cultural facilities to meet local needs.
The strategy is centred around the three Sport England objectives, urging stakeholders to work collaboratively to achieve the following aims:
- To protect the existing supply of playing pitches and outdoor sports facilities where needed for meeting current and future needs.
- To enhance playing pitches and outdoor sports facilities through improving quality and management of sites.
- To provide new playing pitches and outdoor sports facilities where there is current or future demand to do so.
Implementation of the strategy involves a comprehensive approach, incorporating detailed sport-by-sport recommendations, local authority-wide scenarios, strategic recommendations, and a prioritised area-by-area action plan to address issues.
A dedicated PPOSS Steering Group will be established to monitor progress and ensure the strategy's effectiveness, comprising representatives from Barnsley Council and external partners, including Sport England and National Governing Bodies of Sport.
Cllr James Higginbottom, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment and Highways said: “The Play Pitch Strategy is an important step forward to help us understand the need for improved provision of sports facilities across the borough for our communities.
“Our strategy has been shaped by their experience, expertise, and insight and will be used to safeguard and enhance the provision of pitch-based sports facilities throughout the borough, using the resources we have at our disposal.
“It will also play a pivotal role in guiding our future plans for locations and facilities.”
If approved by Cabinet, our strategy will be available on the Council’s website.