Chesterfield named second best town in UK for sports access

Chesterfield has been named as England’s second most accessible town for sports, according to a recent study.

Monday, 1st August 2022, 10:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 11:12 am

The study by sports-retailer Runners Need has compared over 100 English towns and cities to uncover each one’s sports accessibility score.

Each town and city is ranked by the number of local sports facilities and government sports expenditure data.

Users can then compare this to local physical activity rates, well-being rates, and sports expenditure data for the last five years to find out how their local town ‘shapes up’.

Chesterfield has been named the second best town in the UK for sports access

Chesterfield ranked exceptionally well for access to sports facilities, with 144 listed in the surrounding area – or 137 per 100,000 residents, the seventh most per capita in England.

The town also spends 61 per cent more than the national average on sports.

Figures also show the town spent more than £57.59 per person in 2020-2021, significantly above the national average of £35.70.

And although sports spending in Chesterfield decreased by 2.6 per cent between 2016 and 2021, wellbeing rates have rise by 4.3 per cent and activity rates by 1.7 per cent in the same period.

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We welcome the positive news that Chesterfield has been ranked as England's second most accessible town for sports.

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“We want to be able to help our communities to improve their health and wellbeing and we understand how important it is to have access to facilities and opportunities for people to be active. We have some fantastic local facilities and lots of groups that help encourage everyone in our community participate in sport and physical activity.

“This ranking is a testament to the fantastic work that everyone involved in sport and physical activity does to help our residents and visitors across the Borough."

Chesterfield fell only behind Ipswich which was the only two to score in the top 10 for both factors – ranking eighth for sports expenditure at £67.82 per person per year, and tenth for the number of sports facilities with 115 per 100,000 residents and 157 in total.

Crawley clinched third position followed by Cambridge, Colchester, Exeter, Hartlepool, Oxford, Burnley and Chelmsford.

Regionally, the East Midlands ranked fourth when consider sports expenditure and sports facilities per capita, joint with the North East and West Midlands.

Per year, the region spends £31.20 per person, 13 per cent below the national average.

In the East Midlands, funding has decreased by 7.5 per cent since 2016, whereas on average English regions reduced spending by two per cent.

Chesterfield was also the only town in the East Midlands to make the top 10 list by Runners Need.

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