Redevelopment of Coleraine Leisure Centre Rural Needs Assessment
Redevelopment of Coleraine Leisure Centre Rural Needs Assessment
SECTION 1 -
Defining the activity subject to Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016
1A. Name of Public Authority.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
1B. Please provide a short title which describes the activity being undertaken by the Public Authority that is subject to Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016.
Business case for the redevelopment of Coleraine Leisure Centre
1C. Please indicate which category the activity specified in Section 1B above relates to.
Developing a Strategy
Designing a Public Service
1D. Please provide the official title (if any) of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service document or initiative relating to the category indicated in Section 1C above.
Business case for the redevelopment of Coleraine Leisure Centre
1E. Please provide details of the aims and/or objectives of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service.
In 2021, The Leisure Facilities Project Board requested that previous work on business case development dating back to 2016/17 for the redevelopment of Coleraine Leisure Centre (CLC) was revisited and presented to the Project Board.
At a full Council meeting on 7th September 2021 Members agreed that the OBC for CLC was to be progressed in line with ‘Better Business Cases NI’ guidance on the new ‘Five Case Model’.
The Council has agreed three high level objectives for the project:
• address local market needs and demand for leisure within Coleraine
• address social, economic, equality and deprivation challenges and
• create financially sustainable facilities.
In addition, the Council has set 7 more specific objectives for the project:
1. Provide fit for purpose indoor leisure facilities which will meet existing and future needs;
2. To support improving the health and wellbeing of the local population through increased involvement in physical activity, sport
and community engagement;
3. Increased participation in physical activity by individuals from currently underrepresented groups;
4. To provide a wet weather activity alternative to the support the wider tourism offering;
5. To contribute to the regeneration of Coleraine town centre;
6. To create a facility that operates at Net Zero in accordance with the Council’s policy for new/upgraded facilities; and
7. To create a financially sustainable leisure centre
The redeveloped leisure centre will service rural communities within a 20-minute drive of Coleraine, or further afield if users are willing to travel. The leisure centre will also attract tourists who wish to extend their ‘dwell time’ in the area
1F. What definition of ‘rural’ is the Public Authority using in respect of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service?
Population Settlements of less than 5,000 (Default definition).
Details of alternative definition of ‘rural’ used. N/A
Rationale for using alternative definition of ‘rural’. N/A
Reasons why a definition of ‘rural’ is not applicable. N/A
SECTION 2 -
Understanding the impact of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service
2A. Is the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service likely to impact on people in rural areas?
2B. Please explain how the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is likely to impact on people in rural areas.
CLC is centrally placed to service the communities surrounding Portrush and Portstewart, as well as the Coleraine. A total of 112,800 people reside (43,891 households) within a 20-minute drive of Coleraine. Through the provision of an upgraded leisure facility, CLC will actively promote social inclusion across communities and increase participation rates.
Latent demand analysis undertaken as part of the development of the business case suggests that the impact on neighbouring Council facilities such as the Joey Dunlop Centre are expected to be minimal as most users prefer to use their nearest suitable facility. Any displacement would release capacity within existing centres to meet latent demand from local residents.
Council commissioned a study from 4global on latent demand for health and fitness at each of the Council leisure sites in April 2019, which highlights the potential with this project.
After a detailed review of the possible sites for this project the location of the existing facility was agreed. This was in part due to its proximity to the train and bus services. This close proximity to public transport services will maximise access for those living in remote rural areas within the catchment for these facilities.
2C. If the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is likely to impact on people in rural areas differently from people in urban areas, please explain how it is likely to impact on people in rural areas differently.
The redevelopment of CLC will build on the success and participation gains established within traditionally under-represented groups through the Every Body Active (EBA) Programme, Health & Wellbeing initiatives, and facility programming. These initiatives already consider the additional factors which impact people in rural areas.
The redevelopment of CLC in this location will make it easier for those living in the surrounding rural areas to access leisure facilities, as it will ensure easy access via public transport. We believe that by creating these facilities in this location we are providing people from the surrounding rural areas access to these facilities even if they don’t have access to private transport.
Cost is not necessarily a single factor limiting participation in sport for all S75 groups, CLC will carefully consider pricing strategy to encourage participation and engagement.
Significant tourists are in the area from Easter to September and the new CLC should become an attractive option during inclement weather. This will encourage more spend in the surrounding area by increasing ‘dwell time’.
The area suffers from a higher level of unemployment and seasonal employment due to the heavy reliance on tourism for jobs. This project will help create jobs, which will help to reduce rural poverty. It will also provide recreational activities for rural dwellers which will help reduce rural crime in the area.
2D. Please indicate which of the following rural policy areas the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is likely to primarily impact on.
Jobs or Employment in Rural Areas
Health or Social Care Services in Rural Areas
Deprivation in Rural Areas
Rural Crime or Community Safety
If the response to Section 2A was YES GO TO Section 3A.
2E. Please explain why the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is NOT likely to impact on people in rural areas.
SECTION 3 -
Identifying the Social and Economic Needs of Persons in Rural Areas
3A. Has the Public Authority taken steps to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas that are relevant to the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service?
3B. Please indicate which of the following methods or information sources were used by the Public Authority to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas.
Consultation with Rural Stakeholders
Consultation with Other Organisations
Surveys or Questionnaires
3C. Please provide details of the methods and information sources used to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas including relevant dates, names of organisations, titles of publications, website references, details of surveys or consultations undertaken etc.
Quantitative evidence has been sourced via the NI Census in 2011, Sport NI’s Sport and Physical Activity Survey (SAPAS) 2010, CCGBC Sports & Leisure Facilities Strategy and the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2018.
Qualitative evidence has been gathered through sustained consultation prior to the development of the OBC including:
• Engagement with the Elected Members;
• Direct consultation with existing users of the Coleraine Leisure Centre site;
• Consultation with the wider public and casual users;
• Consultation with appropriate statutory sector representatives;
• Consultation with internal stakeholders who will be impacted by any investment decisions in the Coleraine Leisure Centre
site (e.g. grounds maintenance, operations, events management); and
• Specific interest consultations
Partnership Working – Council has been pro-active in developing a collaborative framework of local and national partner organisations and stakeholders including: local authorities; health bodies; schools; national governing bodies, youth organisations, local community groups and charities. This approach allows groups in rural areas a forum for voicing issues and concerns as they arise.
3D. Please provide details of the social and economic needs of people in rural areas which have been identified by the Public Authority?
• The additional transport costs to access services and lower earning potential can create economic hardship in rural areas. By Council providing access to low-cost leisure services in a location that can be accessed via public transport the Council is helping to offset this economic pressure on rural communities.
• Unemployment, long term unemployment, economic inactivity, and the number of people with no qualifications (40.88%) is an issue across the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.
• 12% of the employed population work in tourism, compared to the NI average of 8% (NISRA 2013). The leisure centre will contribute to the local tourism industry in the area.
• The population of the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is projected to grow from 144,2465 in 2018 to 145,537 by 2026;
• Causeway Coast and Glens population has the highest amount of obese children relative to the other council areas;
• There is an increasing amount of mental health admissions, diagnosis and drug items dispensed in CC&G since 2014;
• The proportion of young people living in the area is declining but still significant need to look after young people’s wellbeing;
• There is a growing number of older people residing in the Council area;
• The Council area is represented by both main traditions in Northern Ireland but also has a sizeable ethnic minority population as well;
• The statistics demonstrate that there are still many areas where poverty and income deprivation is the norm. In particular, income deprivation in Ballysally 1 (ranked 6th in MDM 2017) and more rurally Ballylough & Bushmills (ranked 59th in MDM 2017) and high crime rates in Royal Portrush (ranked 18th in MDM 2017);
• Those living in Ringsend (ranked 51st in MDM 2017) have limited access to services;
• Studies have shown that hostility and prejudice accounts for at least one in eight anti-social incidents and is directly linked to verbal and abusive behaviour.
The demographics of the Borough, in particular the obesity numbers and our aging population, illustrate the importance of a modern leisure facility to accommodate differing needs. The design of the leisure centre and programme offerings will help to reduce obesity through health and wellbeing initiatives, anti-social behaviour and isolation through community outreach and engagement. The development stage of this project will create additional jobs in the locality. In addition, the leisure centre has development a pricing strategy that will ensure Section 75 have the best opportunity to avail of the centre’s services.
If the response to Section 3A was YES GO TO Section 4A.
3E. Please explain why no steps were taken by the Public Authority to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas?
SECTION 4 -
Considering the Social and Economic Needs of Persons in Rural Areas
4A. Please provide details of the issues considered in relation to the social and economic needs of people in rural areas.
Inclusivity - The redevelopment of CLC will positively impact the health and wellbeing of all residents who utilize the facility. An important element in improving participation is to improve the facilities and to make them more accessible and inclusive to all members of the community.
EBA 2020 also contributes to realising Council’s commitment to delivering outreach programmes across the borough in rural areas with limited access to facilities. Council delivers a range of health improvement programmes in partnership with Neighbourhood Renewal Programme, Northern & Western HSCT’s, Macmillan Cancer Care Group, Public Health Agency and numerous Community and Voluntary Sector Agencies.
Travel - The site for this project was chosen in part because of its proximity to public transport services. This will provide access to leisure services for rural dwellers who don’t have access to a car.
Promotion - It has been recognised that there is no simple solution, or one size fits all approach to identifying an effective engagement method. To be most effective it will combine a range of complementary methods to maximise participation levels and to include a greater variety of interests.
The chosen methods best suited to our leisure specific objectives and achieving Council’s desired outcomes will often fall within one or more of the following levels or degrees of engagement: giving information; seeking views to inform decision making; identifying and prioritising needs; or building relationships or partnerships. Council’s ‘Community Engagement Toolkit’ indicates the degree of suitability of each method for these levels of engagement.
Costs – Council will target pricing policy at those with lowest levels of participation where cost is a barrier and ensure concessionary rates maximise benefit and achieve value for money. Categories to which users should get a concessionary rate to maximise inclusivity:
• Under 5’s;
• Senior citizens;
• Students in full-time education;
• Economically disadvantaged.
Monitoring & Evaluation – CC&G will use the reporting mechanisms with the Leisure Management System to provide, Monthly Performance Monitoring reports including Programmes of Use and Participation Targets to meet the requirements of the Service Plan & Strategy.
SECTION 5 -
Influencing the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service
5A. Has the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the Policy, Strategy or Plan, or the design or delivery of the Public Service, been influenced by the rural needs identified?
5B. Please explain how the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the Policy, Strategy or Plan, or the design or delivery of the Public Service, has been influenced by the rural needs identified.
Council has completed Accessibility Audits on all leisure facilities through the ‘Every Customer Counts’ Programme and has installed ‘Changing Places’ provision at Roe Valley LC and CLC, this design feature will be replicated in the redevelopment of CLC.
Council is fully committed to Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 which requires public authorities, in carrying out their functions, powers and duties, to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity. Therefore, Council aspires to ensure that fairness, inclusion and respect are at the heart of everything we do.
Council has developed a full socio-economic profile of the Borough which ensures that we are equipped with the necessary information to target the under-represented groups within the Borough, including barriers faced by the rural community.
EBA 2020 also contributes to realising Council’s commitment to delivering outreach programmes across the borough in rural areas with limited access to facilities. In addition, the S&WB Department staff will assist with enhancing provision, increasing capacity/participation and enabling a more diverse programme to meet identified rural customer needs.
Council has identified several training opportunities to increase awareness and adapt activities to develop Autism Friendly Services. This will include establishing Autism Awareness Training as a mandatory training requirement for S&WB Department Staff. Inclusivity is paramount for the leisure centre, regardless of users’ origins (rural vs urban).
Council recognises that creating awareness of the benefits of sustained physical activity and our programmes is paramount to encourage increased participation within the rural community and traditionally under-represented groups.
The site for this project was chosen in part because of its proximity to public transport services. This will provide access to leisure services for rural dwellers who don’t have access to a car.
Rural users will be able to book usage of the leisure centres facilities via the app, before making any journeys to the site, resulting in reduced travel costs.
If the response to Section 5A was YES GO TO Section 6A.
5C. Please explain why the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the Policy, Strategy or Plan, or the design or the delivery of the Public Service, has NOT been influenced by the rural needs identified.
SECTION 6 -
Documenting and Recording
6A. Please tick below to confirm that the RNIA Template will be retained by the Public Authority and relevant information on the Section 1 activity compiled in accordance with paragraph 6.7 of the guidance.
I confirm that the RNIA Template will be retained and relevant information compiled.
Rural Needs Impact Assessment undertaken by: SIB Project Manager
Date: 6 July 2022
Rural Needs Impact Assessment approved by: Head of Service for Sport and Wellbeing
Date: 6 July 2022