Funding for fitter families

Banbury’s young children and their parents are getting help to keep fit, thanks to a new grant from Sport England.

Published: Wednesday, 23rd May 2018

Cherwell District Council’s sports and leisure team has successfully secured £215,000 to help families in the wards of Grimsbury, Hardwick, Neithrop and Ruscote access recreational activities. The funding comes from a £40m National Lottery pot that Sport England has dedicated to helping families get active together.

It will enable Cherwell to deliver opportunities such as cut-price rates at Woodgreen Leisure Centre and outdoor swimming pool, and a programme of after-school activities. Families with children aged 11 or younger will be able to take advantage of the offers, which are being launched over summer and into the start of the school year.

Cllr George Reynolds, Cherwell’s deputy leader, said: “It’s our job as the district council to make it easier for people to enjoy their leisure time and keep fit. The added bonus of promoting activities that the whole family can do is that it solves childcare problems and helps families enjoy more time together.

“We’ve chosen to focus on those wards of Banbury which experience multiple indices of deprivation; we’re keen to deliver where it matters most.

“Officers have timed the start of the programme to coincide with the start of the school holidays, so we encourage families to take up the offer throughout the summer months, and then, when Banbury’s children go back to school, look out for a series of after-school activities for all the family to enjoy.”

Cherwell has received support for the project from The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Sanctuary Housing, Oxfordshire County Council and Legacy Leisure.

Council officers are working with a number of Banbury schools to finalise plans for the after-school activities. Details of these will be announced over the summer months.

Discounted access to Woodgreen Leisure Centre and open air pool are already available to families with children aged 11 or under living in Grimsbury, Hardwick, Neithrop and Ruscote.

Sport England's director of children and young people Jayne Molyneux said: “It’s not right that four in five children don’t get enough exercise and are missing out on the health benefits it brings. Just by seeing their parents being active, children can be inspired to do the same, and if they have an enjoyable experience they’re far more likely to continue as an adult.

“Parents have many demands on their time, and often lack the confidence to get active with their children. That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active with your children an easy choice. With this new National Lottery funding, Cherwell District Council will be able to make it easier for families with young children to enjoy keeping fit together.”

Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport. It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active - like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.

Discounted access to Woodgreen Leisure Centre and open air pool will be available to families with children aged 16 or under living in Grimsbury, Hardwick, Neithrop and Ruscote. People who believe they may be eligible should contact