Reports & Guidance

Active people, healthy places
Local Authorities continue to face challenges in the delivery of their sport, physical activity and many are working in partnership with outsourced providers. The LGA in partnership with Sporta and cCLOA have produced Active People, healthy places showcasing 12 case studies of where councils and their delivery partners are working together to address these challenges in a collaborative way. The aim of this report is to share good practice and help decision-makers consider how their council can deliver on this agenda in the best way for local people and communities.

Leisure Management Options Guidance
Sport England has published a guidance document to help local authorities choose the best facility management model. The guidance – plus accompanying case studies and glossary of terms – is an introduction to the different facility management options and aims to help councils adopt a more strategic approach to decision-making. You can download a copy here.

The Art of the Possible
This quick guide to commissioning arts and culture is for commissioners of health and wellbeing services on partnering with the sector to deliver better outcomes. Targeted at local authorities, CCGs, hospital trusts and other health bodies, it draws on the Cultural Commissioning Programme’s learning, including work with Kent County Council and Gloucestershire CCG, where innovative partnerships and whole person approaches are being used to reduce the need for costly interventions further down the line. It includes practical guidance and case studies, covering aspects of physical health, mental health and wellbeing.  It has been produced by NCVO in collaboration with the Association of Directors of Public Health.

Sport, dance and young people’s wellbeing: what works?
The What Works Centre for Wellbeing has published new international evidence on the impact sport, dance and physical activity have on the wellbeing of 15-24 year olds. Key findings include:
Yoga, and the Tai-chi like movements of Baduanjin-qigong, provided strong evidence of their effectiveness at reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger, while improving attention spans and how the young people reported their overall wellbeing.
Empowering young girls through peer-supported exercise has a positive effect on their self-belief.
Aerobic and hip-hop dance can lead to greater increases in happiness compared to other activities like ice-skating or body conditioning.
Taking part in ‘exer-gaming’ programmes, like Wii Fit, in groups can help encourage overweight young people to participate in physical activity and make friends.
You can download the briefing here and the full evidence review here.

The role of Local Authorities in leading Place-making
Councils are uniquely placed to facilitate and drive placemaking activity. Local Government Association and The Chief Culture & Leisure Officers Association(cCLOA) have launched a new publication that highlights how councils are using culture to create a sense of shared identity and purpose in their areas, and to tackle their big issues of the day.  People, culture, place: the role of culture in placemaking contains 10 case studies where officer and political leadership has combined to develop innovative practice using cultural activities to bring about positive changes to their places. They reflect a range of different types of council, location and themes such as economic renewal in Margate, tackling homelessness in Oxford and revitalising civic pride in Blackpool and Barnsley.  Together, they show how the arts and culture can be used to improve a wide range of measurable outcomes, from education and wellbeing to economic growth and community cohesion.

To charge or not to charge?
Research published by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) analyses the impact of charging (or not charging) on both visitors and museums. The research is timely, as an increasing number of museums are thinking about introducing admission charges in response to reductions in local authority funding.  The study claims that there was little impact in terms of visitor number or diversity when prices were increased and a wide range of charging structures, some very innovative, are highlighted.  The research report is accompanied by a practical guide that museums can use to help them make decisions about whether an admission charge is right for their museum. The report and practical guide are now available to download from AIM’s website here.

Commercial Opportunities for Archives
The National Archives has published an Income Generation Guide . The guidance draws on the experience of The National Archives' commercial operations and also of experience and good practice from across the sector. The guidance has a very practical focus and aims to flag up the most fruitful areas for commercial activity, so as to support archives and their managers to build robust business strategies.

Physical Activity & Health
A new report by the Sport and Recreation Alliance and ukactive Physical Activity and Health: Working Together to get the Nation Moving provides a snap shot of the public health and commissioning landscape in England and sets out the key role the sport, recreation and physical activity sector can play in improving physical and mental health outcomes. The report also includes a number of key policy recommendations to ensure that both national and local frameworks encourage and facilitate joined-up working to help get more people to be more active.  In addition, the report contains case studies which share outcomes and learning from current projects as well as a section contributed by cCLOA and Sport England offering top tips on engaging with commissioners of health and wellbeing services here.

Creating Places where art and culture thrive
The TCPA has launched a Practical Guide to creating new places where art and culture thrive I'd love to live there! Planning for culture and the arts. This is the first in a suite of Garden City Practical Guides on placemaking and delivery which are designed to help councillors, council officers, developers, planners, policy-makers and anyone trying to create new places that will be good to live in for generations to come. 

Revamped active design guide
Sport England has been working with Public Health England to revamp the Active Design guide. The guidance links health, design and planning by creating the right environment for people to lead active lifestyles. With this in mind, the 10 active design principles have been developed to inspire and inform the layout of cities, towns, villages, neighbourhoods, buildings, streets and open spaces, to promote sport and physical activity and active lifestyles. Included in the guide are five real-life case studies of active design principles in action.

Helping women and girls get active: a practical guide
Sport England has produced a brand new guide to help close the 2 million gender gap in sporting participation.
The guide contains advice on how you might work with other organisations, both inside and outside of the sport sector. It also has proven tips, suggestions and case studies that will make it easier for you to attract more women and girls to your activities, and keep them coming back.

New equality and diversity guidance for archives
The National Archives has published a short piece of guidance on understanding the role of equality and diversity in archives. The guidance explains the terms equality and diversity, and what the Equality Act 2010 means for organisations offering a public service.  It provides some ideas about implementing equality and diversity to strengthen your archive service, and links to further reading for more detailed information and definitions.

Spin-out guidance for Archives
Guidance for archive services considering new delivery approaches is now available through The National Archives. The guidance includes points to consider, the potential benefits, risks and challenges and an outline to the key stages involved in the process of moving to an alternative governance model. It aims to provide heads of service and archive managers with the tools required to make informed decisions about the process of spinning out.  You can download In a spin: guidance on spinning out local authority archive services.

The role of culture and leisure in improving health and wellbeing
cCLOA have published a guidance document that aims to help commissioners and providers of culture and leisure services understand and engage more effectively and collaboratively with this key agenda.  You can download The role of culture and leisure in improving health and wellbeing here.  The document focuses on the structures, frameworks and outcomes relating to public health and also includes case studies to highlight how culture and sport can help to tackle unhealthy lifestyles, address the social determinants of health, offer cost effective approaches, bring creative solutions and engage communities, families and individuals in managing their well-being. 

The role of arts in the delivery of social care
A report into the role of the arts within the delivery of social care has now been published following a study commissioned by Creative & Cultural Skills in conjunction with Skills for Care, and Skills for Care and Development.  It is intended that the report will inform future thinking around the role of arts in the delivery of social care and in particular the implications for workforce development. You can download a copy of the report here 

Habits in community sport
Sport England has published a report that explores the trends affecting sporting habits, and how the sports sector is both driving and responding to them. Case studies are included showing how organisations have responded well to gaps, trends and opportunities. Read the report here  and get conversations going on how these trends are shaping your sport or local community.

Planning for culture and sport
Improving culture, arts and sporting opportunities through planning provides an authoritative resource for planners and culture and sport practitioners in England. It is designed to enable them to plan effectively for culture, arts and sport through the planning system, and it demonstrates the art of the possible in using the planning system as a means of achieving local priorities. The guidance is non-statutory, but is supported by organisations from across the culture, arts, sport and planning sectors, and its adoption within the planning process is encouraged.  The guide will help local authority planners and culture and leisure officers to meet the national requirement to identify and positively plan for improved opportunities in cultural, sport and leisure provision – both within Local Plan policies and in making planning decisions.

Community libraries for the 21st century
Arts Council England and LGA have published a report that looks into the different ways in which communities are involved in library service delivery. From this research guiding principles have been developed to assist local authorities who are considering reviewing the delivery of their library services to work with their communities. You can read more about the guiding principles here.

Affordable facilities
Sport England have recently devised guidance with a particular focus on the ‘affordability’ and ‘future financial sustainability’ of leisure facilities, The information is an essential reference for new community swimming projects or where the rationalisation of the existing facilities is being considered. Guidance for affordable pools can be found here and guidance for sports halls here. Whilst the emphasis is on affordability and generating income the documents and downloadable CAD files illustrate how new projects can meet a full range of community needs and comply with best practice standards.

The role of Culture & Sport in supporting Adult Social Care – revised guidance
Adult Social Care is facing some major challenges with reducing resources and increasing life expectancy. By 2026 there will be 1.7 million more adults who need support to help them live with conditions that seriously reduce the quality of their life. Culture and sport can play an important role in supporting adult social care to deliver better outcomes for people. To help increase understanding of the opportunities for culture and sport to contribute through the strategic commissioning process and to bring the guidance up to date by reflecting the latest policy and legislation, this well-received publication has been revised and you can download a copy here.

The Community Infrastructure Levy: advice note for culture, arts and planning professionals - Local authorities and the arts and cultural sector need to work with communities to understand their aspirations for art and culture, and to work with developers to make use of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to realise these ambitions.  To support this, Arts Council England has produced guidance that explains how the needs for cultural and arts infrastructure in association with new development can be established and fed into the CIL process. It helps planning, culture and arts professionals involved with development of the Levy understand how to best exploit it in order to ensure that the arts and culture can be part of everybody's lives.

The role of Culture and Sport in reducing Crime and Anti-social Behaviour - Culture and sport have an important role to play in preventing young people becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. This document aims to help providers of culture and sport services better understand community safety and crime reduction agendas.  It also offers a number of practical real world case studies that have a track record of successfully diverting those most at risk of offending through culture and sports based activities.  You can download the report here......

Community managed libraries - The MLA has been exploring different models of community managed libraries and has recently produced a review to inform local authorities who are thinking about new ways of involving and working with communities. You can find out more about the different approaches possible, and the benefits and issues involved here......

A guide to externalising leisure services - Improvement East have produced a guide for local authorities considering externalising the management and operation of leisure services. The guide explores how each externalised model operates, together with the pros and cons and case studies to illustrate the experience of individual local authorities. The guidance also provides an indication of the potential savings that could be achieved. You can read the guidance here......

Strategic options for Tourist Information Centres - Improvement East and East of England Tourism have developed a number of strategic options for local authorities considering the future of their TIC service. The guidance includes case studies illustrating a reduction in the net cost through service diversification, outsourcing, combined service delivery and relocation.  A complementary publication outlines how to improve retail performance as a means of contributing to running costs.  You can download the guides here...... and here......

Guidance from English Heritage on the transfer of local authority assets - A number of local authorities are now looking to transfer buildings and land assets to the community. English Heritage have recently published Pillars of the Community, a guidance document aimed at assisting local authorities and community groups. The guidance outlines the process for asset transfers, both from a local authority and community perspective. It is accompanied by a number of case studies showing what can be achieved.  You can download the guidance here......

Improving efficiency in the culture and sport sector - Local Government Improvement & Development have produced two guides for elected members and managers with a responsibility for improving efficiency in cultural services. Sharing assets and asset transfer provides a simple introduction to improving the use of existing assets and approaches to transferring assets to different delivery partnerships, with examples of how these concepts have been applied. Looking for new ways of delivering culture and sport services offers some ideas and advice on how members and managers might respond to the current financial pressures whilst protecting frontline services. You can download the guides here...... and here......

Guidance for Community Owned and Managed Swimming Pools has been produced by The Asset Transfer Unit, which helps to empower local people and organisations transform land and buildings into vibrant community spaces.  In addition to offering guidance to help communities who are thinking about taking on responsibility for managing their swimming pool, it also provides Local Authorities with the information they need when considering the feasibility and varied benefits of community owned and managed pools.  Download the guidance here......

Understanding Commissioning - The IDeA has published a new guide to help people in the culture and sport sector understand the process of strategic commissioning and how to engage in the process to produce better outcomes for communities.  The guidance has specific sections on need assessment, options appraisal, procurement and building capacity in the third sector. Find more information and download a copy of the guidance here......

Positive Activities: Good Practice Guidance - The Departments for Children, Schools and Families and Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have published good practice guidance on providing positive activities for young people. The guidance aims to encourage local authorities to combine resources and work more effectively by commissioning a diverse range of culture and sports activities. Download the guidance here......