Top flight status for district over recreation rates

The re-vamped Sleaford Leisure Centre.
The re-vamped Sleaford Leisure Centre.

The multi-million pound re-vamp of Sleaford Leisure Centre has been credited with helping to put the area in the top flight of sports recreation.

North Kesteven leads the county and is in the top 20 nationally in terms of the proportion of adults taking part in sport and active recreation for at least half-an-hour a week.

This is according to the latest statistics in Sport England’s annual Active People Survey.

North Kesteven’s figure of 30.2 per cent compares to a county average of 25 per cent and is 16th highest in England out of 327 local authorities.

Moreover, North Kesteven is fifth out of all districts in terms of the proportion of residents that are active on 20 to 28 days in every four weeks, with a figure of 20.7 per cent.

The £2.85m redevelopment of Sleaford Leisure Centre is thought to be a factor in the district’s strong showing.

Leader of North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) Coun Marion Brighton said: “I am absolutely delighted that our residents are so actively engaged in sports and recreation. It is clear to me that our efforts in upgrading and promoting the extensive facilities we provide for leisure – both indoors and out – have played a significant role in this.”

Since the spend at Sleaford Leisure Centre, sports participation at the Eastbanks facility has increased by 62 per cent, the council reports.

Coun Brighton added: “When she came to open the refurbished Sleaford centre, Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies applauded NKDC for not taking the easy option as so many councils had done in closing down facilities. She said that what we had achieved was excellent and that many other areas could learn from North Kesteven.

“I am pleased to say that many other areas are learning from us as together we seek to inspire and encourage everyone in taking a more active role in their health and wellbeing.”