Strategic outcomes planning guidance

Detailing a strategic approach to sport and physical activity that supports local priorities

To assist local authorities to take a strategic approach to maximising the contribution that sport and physical activity makes to its local outcomes, the Strategic Outcome Planning Guidance has been developed.

With limited resources, changing demographics and increased pressure on essential services such as physical and mental health, adult social care and education; local authorities and their partners are increasingly having to prioritise what they continue to invest in, support and, in some cases, stop doing or supporting.

This is often linked to local strategic priorities which seek to tackle multifaceted issues such as educational attainment, social cohesion, obesity, social isolation and mental health issues.

Sport and physical activity is increasingly seen as a co-producer of local outcomes and local authorities across the country are using their services, assets, partnerships and infrastructure to make a significant contribution to their citizens’ lives as a direct provider, commissioner or enabler.

The guidance shows that having a clear, strategic and sustainable approach to sport and physical activity is essential to making effective investment into provision – both facilities and services. 

Creating a focus and vision on local outcomes, informed by customer insight and delivering interventions – both capital and revenue – that affect behaviour change in the target audience will ultimately deliver local outcomes for a place.

All local authorities will have some or most of this work in place but this cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. This guidance seeks to provide key principles to support the journey and signpost where additional help or advice can be found at whatever stage a local authority is at, for example, at the beginning of a commissioning cycle, changes in political administration or considering the need for new facilities or service delivery. 

This guidance is a forerunner to our Leisure Services Delivery Guidance document (formerly our Procurement Toolkit) which supports a local authority looking to implement its strategic approach.

It should help shape that important investment so it delivers against the local outcomes identified.