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Sport England launches new Approach to getting the nation active

This week, Sport England launched Active Design, an innovative new approach to getting local communities out of their armchairs and involved in sport.

Being active should be an intrinsic part of people’s everyday lives. This is why effective design and layout of new housing communities has a vital role to play in promoting sport and active recreation.

Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive said:

“We don’t want Active Design to sit in a drawer and gather dust. If developers are serious about improving the quality of life of their residents, they need to pay attention to this important guidance. Active Design makes sport attractive and puts sport on people’s doorsteps.”

Active Design gives practical, easy-to-use guidance and information to town planners, urban designers and architects on how to put sport and opportunities to get active at the heart of new developments.

Drawing on best practice in master planning and urban design, Sport England’s Active Design provides advice on how opportunities for sport and active travel (walking and cycling) can be maximised through the design and layout of new building developments, open spaces and sports facilities.

Sport England’s Active Design already has the support of Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport and Caroline Flint, Minister of State for Public Health. Active Design is also backed by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), the Government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space.

The challenge now is to get Active Design on the radar of town planners, architects and urban designers. Sport England will be working with local authorities and private developers to help make this happen.

For more information, please contact Chris Rolfe, Press and PR Officer at Sport England, on 020 7273 1593.

Notes to Editors:

Sport England
Sport England exists to sustain and increase participation in community sport. It is a non-departmental public body and Lottery distributor. Our ambition is to get two million people participating more in sport by 2012. We do this by promoting, advising and investing in community sport.

Additional statements of support for Active Design:

Derek Mapp, Chairman of Sport England, said:
“At Sport England, we have set ourselves the target of getting two million people participating more in sport by 2012. I am confident that Active Design can help us meet this challenge by building sport and active recreation into people’s everyday lives. I also believe that Active Design has the potential to complement existing Government initiatives aimed at creating a healthier and more active nation.”

Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport:
“Active Design is an innovative new approach to urban design and the challenge of getting people active. Going forward, I would urge planners, urban designers and architects to use this essential checklist in the design of new developments to give people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to build physical activity into their everyday lives”.

Caroline Flint, Minister of State for Public Health:
“By increasing the opportunity for people to walk, cycle and play sport in their own communities and neighbourhoods, we will hopefully see an increase in physical activity in these areas. I am supportive of any work which helps make the build environment more conducive to physical activity and active travel”.

To view a copy of Active Design please go to

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