Published 23rd April 2018
Bexley has a range of leisure facilities across the Borough, from extensive green and blue networks to a range of community buildings and spaces for sports, fitness and activity, yet Inactivity levels remain higher than both the national and London average, with 26.9% of adults classed as inactive and a further 14.6% not being active enough.
Notable infrastructure includes three local authority high quality leisure centres in Erith, Bexleyheath and Sidcup and some growth has been seen in the private sector low cost gym provision. There are a number of community assets in schools (such as sports halls and outdoor pitches) but not all are proactively open and supporting community use. There is also a strong community network of voluntary groups including, dance groups and outdoor sports organisations. It is, however, recognised that areas of deficiency also exist; the quality of facilities varies, connectivity, accessibility is not always simple and the “offer” is not always designed to encourage the most inactive.
The Bexley Growth Strategy highlights the continued expansion of the borough’s population with the single biggest increase expected in the 0-15 year-old cohort (although the aging of the population (i.e. those over the age of 65) will also continue). Such demographic impact will be variable across the borough, resulting in differing demands on provision. Local studies to determine the impact of development and increasing and changing population on existing green infrastructure, open spaces, formal playing pitches and indoor leisure are underway.
Supporting more positive and healthy lifestyle choices and behaviours and ensuring that infrastructure planning, service design and local policies do not become barriers to achieving a more active healthier population, who are integrating activity into daily life is essential.
The data set for Active Places (which covers leisure centres, sports halls and a range of other facilities) can be found here. The platform is self-service and you must register to view the data.