Opening School Facilities

Schools play a vital role in helping young people to be active, and the Opening School Facilities programme helps to support schools to open after school, providing more sports clubs and activity facilities to children and the wider community.

Since 2019, there has been additional investment from the Department for Education into the Active Partnership network to help schools deliver extracurricular activities and open up their facilities for community use in the evenings, weekends and school holidays.

The main drivers for this project were to strengthen links to the local community, income generation for schools and the mental wellbeing and physical benefits of opening up school facilities for pupils and the local community.

Nationally, 39% of sports facilities are locked behind school gates during the summer holidays, and the project helps to open existing provision further.

Phase 2 Opening School Facilities, the Department of Education announced an investment of £10.1m to support schools. As the Active Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Living Sport was awarded £90,000 of this funding to help schools to offer extracurricular opportunities including opening up facilities such as purchasing additional sports, activity and storage equipment; improving accessibility of school sports facilities, particularly for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, including buying adaptive sports equipment and where relevant providing funding for additional short term staffing.

The funding was distributed in small grants to a number of priority schools based on schools in areas of deprivation where activity levels were low and schools focused on children and young people with additional special educational needs and disabilities.

We worked with:

  • Highfield Littleport, Ely
  • Richard Barnes, Peterborough
  • Harbour School, Wilburton
  • St Peters, Huntingdon
  • Ken Stimpson, Peterborough
  • Spring Common, Huntingdon
  • Heltwate School, Peterborough
  • Meadowgate School, Wisbech

Why open your facilities?

Opening your school’s facilities in evenings, weekends and holidays can benefit your local sports clubs and community groups, and it can benefit your school directly in a number of ways:

  • Raising your school’s profile and presence in the local community
  • Providing a vital new income stream for the school through hiring out facilities
  • Increasing the activity levels of your students and local community.
  • Making connections with local and national organisations that are looking for safe spaces for young people to be active.
  • Becoming part of Living Sport’s OSF community, accessing CPD and examples of best practices.

Supporting resources

Sport England’s Use our School resource can help you to open your facilities to the local community. Within this resource, you will be able to access information about operating models, legal and governance, finance, marketing and safeguarding.

Opening School Facilities

For more information about the programme, please contact David Welch, Children and Young People Manager, Schools and Education –