Sunny Colch Sport for All

The agenda [pdf] for the Colchester Borough Council Local Plan Committee meeting at the Town Hall this Thursday ‘aint exactly ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.

An update on the new Local Plan (it’s happening) and the crowd pleaser of the Rural Exemption Site Policy / Recent Experience.


We’re half-tempted to head along though as buried in the middle of the localgov gumpf is the CBC Sports Facility Strategy.

This is actually quite a key document that sets out the sporting needs throughout the borough over the next 15 years or so.

Essentially it is an audit of current sporting provision, and then aspirations as to how this could be improved.

Funding for these improvements doesn’t really feature…

What is clear is that if CBC wants to meet the ambitious aims contained in the document, then it can’t do it alone.

We really are rather fortunate in Sunny Colch in having ‘partnerships’ with the University and the Garrison.

Sure, their main ‘business’ isn’t in sports provision, but opening up the facilities to residents has to be a good thing.

Plus there is always the private sector route to sporting provision, something that appears to be only lightly touched upon in the document.

One figure that jumps out like an over-enthusiastic father in the sack race on school sports day is that CBC is aiming for a 1% increase in participation in sport across Colchester.


#ThisGirlCan, etc, but probably not if CBC really can’t be arsed.

A full audit of the existing indoor and outdoor facilities then follows in the document.

Some of the headline points include:

Sports Halls

There is more demand for sports hall space than currently exists in Colchester.

There is restricted use at schools, the Garrison and University of Essex.


Leisure World Colchester is the only fully community accessible pool in the Borough.

There is unmet latent demand for more swimming provision in the Borough which is likely to be exacerbated

The recent closure of Colchester Academy will put further pressure on water space.

Strangely the need of a swimming pool at the University isn’t mentioned – which is a shame, seeing as though this is a conversation that seems to have been taking place for the past two decades.


CBC has the potential to develop a closed cycling circuit in the Northern Gateway as part of a wider facility mix.

*whisper* Colchester Velodrome…

Priorities are then discussed. Not surprisingly Leisure World ranks high here:

Investment in Leisure World Colchester is a key priority. It remains the main and only community accessible swimming facility in the Borough.

We then get a run through of priorities for each sport, with input from the national governing bodies.

Anyone with an interest in Rugby League would do well to avoid our town as we aren’t a ‘focus going forward’ for the RFL.

The document is worth a quick read through for anyone with an interest in sport around Colchester. It shows that the Local Plan Committee isn’t all about housing; provision and facilities are being considered as well.

It’s never as simple as Just Do It however.