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Encouraging active lifestyles in younger people part of South Holland's Levelling Up planned bid to Government

Posted on 22 June 2022

New family facilities to encourage physical activity in younger people could form part of South Holland District Council's planned bid for Government Levelling Up cash.

As reported in recent weeks, the Council is gearing up to submit a £20m bid to Government to redevelop the Castle Sports Centre site in Spalding.

Plans could include an adventure zone, incorporating a climbing wall and outside play area focusing on improving young people's fitness and agility. The offer will also incorporate cycle and running routes, alongside improved cycle connectivity through the site to improve links into the town centre.

These latest details of the proposed bid follow on from recent announcements such as plans for a new 3G floodlit football pitch and extra swimming provision at the Castle Sports Centre.

In a recent survey by Sport England, the District of South Holland shows that 48 per cent of children are not reaching recommended levels of activity and the District has a significantly higher number of people who are over-weight or obese than England.

Councillor Nick Worth, Deputy Leader of South Holland District Council, believes introducing plans to encourage active lifestyles sits neatly with previously released plans to extend the swimming pool provision and a new 3G sports pitch at the site.

He said: "By incorporating new family activity facilities into our proposed plans for the site such as adventure equipment, a climbing wall and cycling and running routes will mean everyone in the district can benefit from these facilities - not just those living in Spalding.

"We as a council are working with partners such as Active Lincolnshire to look at different ways we can increase levels of activity in younger people and these proposed plans will create a vibrant and bespoke place where families with younger children can go and actively participate in a number of activities which are fun and engaging but also keep younger people fit and active."

Lorna Leach, Director of Transformation at Active Lincolnshire, wholeheartedly supports the proposed plans for the site. Active Lincolnshire will be launching Let's Move Lincolnshire, the countywide 10-year strategy to make Lincolnshire a place where everyone has the opportunity to be physically active every day. Lorna believes South Holland's planned provision to promote health in younger people resonates with the ambitions of the strategy.

Lorna said: "We know from research that 26 per cent of children aged 4-5 in the district are classified as overweight or obese - that's higher than the national average. The proposed plans for South Holland's Levelling Up bid will mean families from across the District will benefit from a number of different activities that are designed to be fun and physically challenging, creating positive experiences that will underpin a lifelong habit of being physically active."

For more information on the Government's Levelling Up Fund and how local areas can submit bids, visit the GOV.UK website (Levelling Up Fund Round 2: prospectus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

What are your thoughts on the council's proposed bid to Government? We'd love to hear your views. Let us know by emailing consultations@sholland.gov.uk.