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Erdington Leisure Centre in Birmingham is now open. The £7.5million replacement of Erdington’s leisure centre is part of a city-wide investment of nearly £40million by Birmingham City Council, in conjunction with Sport England, and is the first of four new complexes to be completed. Birmingham Community Leisure Trust (BCLT) working in partnership with Birmingham City Council (BCC) has overseen the project, and manages the new centre now it is fully open to the public.

Latest: Dateline 29.9.17


One more time: physical activity is good for you
A new research study published in the Lancet (21 September 2017) reports that physical activity can have a significant impact on mortality rates. The findings will come as a surprise to almost no one but the study, which is the first to explore the relationship between heart disease and physical activity in nations of differing levels of affluence, will add to the weight of evidence supporting investment in physical activity promotion as part of the UK government’s efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. The study, titled ‘The effect of physical activity on mortality and cardiovascular disease in 130 000 people from 17 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries: the PURE study’, ran between 2003 and 2010 with 168 916 participants. The summary of the finding was that “Higher recreational and non-recreational physical activity was associated with a lower risk of mortality and CVD events in individuals from low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries. Increasing physical activity is a simple, widely applicable, low cost global strategy that could reduce deaths and CVD in middle age.”
Read the full report via the

A sustainable sporting future: discuss
The UK Sport Development Research Network (UKSDN) 2017 national conference will be held in Plymouth on 17 November 2017. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Creating a Sustainable Sporting Future: Issues, Pathways and Opportunities’ and the event comprises a variety of symposia and plenary sessions that promise to “cut across the sport and physical activity debate”. Subject areas include: integration with the public health community; sustaining community sport clubs; promotion of a volunteering culture; challenges in the rural environment; implications for a sustainable funding strategy; and promoting inclusion. The conference will be hosted by The University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth and ActiveDevon, who have worked closely in conjunction with the UKSDN in organising this year’s event.
Full details of UKSDN 2017 via

Hillary Step disappears from Everest
Reports emerging from the Himalaya climbing season earlier this year seem to have confirmed that the Hillary Step, one of the highest and most difficult obstacles on the route to the summit of Everest, had collapsed. Named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the 12m vertical rock face stood at 8,790m, just 60-odd metres from the summit, and had been identified by Hillary as the last and most perplexing challenge that he and Tenzing Norgay had confronted. More recently the Hillary Step had been the site of a bottleneck for climbers using a fixed rope to ascend and descend, causing delays and adding to the dangers of the infamous high-mountain death zone. With mountain tourism now big business, mountain guides and the companies that bring large numbers of climbers to Everest each season will be pondering what impact the new topography will have on those hoping to summit.

Cyclenation 2017 coming to Oxford
The 2017 Cyclenation conference will be held in Oxford on 10-11 November. With the title Shifting Gear: A Radical Change for Cycling, the conference will explore all aspects of cycling as a mode of transport and bring together cycling experts and campaigners, planners and local government officers for two days of discussion, debate and analysis. Cyclox, the Oxford cycling campaign group, is hosting this year’s Cyclenation event with the assistance of Cycling UK and the support of Freeths Solicitors. Full details of the event are available via the Cyclox website at Book now for the advance discount.

More space for Tate St Ives after four-year wait
Tate St Ives is celebrating the completion a four-year project that has doubled the original building’s display space and added new learning spaces. The transformation of Tate St Ives will enable the gallery to stay open throughout the year and provide a permanent display of the artists that made St Ives famous as the home of an important strand of British modern art. Tate St Ives now receives 250,000 visitors a year, more than three times the figure projected for the original building, and new facilities include a public roof garden, staff offices and additional visitor facilities. A new loading bay will mean the gallery will no longer be obliged to close to visitors while exhibitions are changed. Architects Evans and Shalev, who created the original Tate St Ives, returned to make the changes to the building, while Jamie Fobert Architects were selected to design the significant four-storey extension containing a new gallery lit by six large-scale skylights.

Picasso at Tate Modern
Tate Modern has sounded the Picasso klaxon, metaphorically if not literally, by announcing The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy, an exhibition of some of the famed artist’s most important paintings for spring 2018. Three works featuring the artist’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter – Nude, Green Leaves and Bust; Nude in a Black Armchair; and The Mirror – will provide the focal points of the exhibition. Not seen together since they were created in a five-day period in 1932, Tate suggests that this exhibition will offer “a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience these outstanding works together”.

Tate annual report
The Tate annual report, which covers activities across all Tate venues during 2016/17, has been published with, as has become the norm, an array of impressive numbers and notable achievements. The opening of the Blavatnik Building in June 2016 [see the Leisure Review passim], attracted more than one million visitors in the first month and a record 6.4 million visitors over the year. Across its four sites Tate recorded 8.4 million visitors, the most in a single year, and Tate Britain’s David Hockney exhibition had 478,000 visitors, Tate’s  second most popular show ever (Matisse: The Cut-outs is still number one). During 2016/17 Tate increased its loans to other galleries, with 513 works lent to 113 UK venues and with international loans up by almost 30 per cent; in total 1,079 works went to 233 venues worldwide across 29 countries. A total of 1,113 works with a collective value of £27.4 million entered the collection. Tate also marked the end of the Serota era with the appointment of Maria Balshaw, formerly director of the Whitworth (University of Manchester) and Manchester City Galleries, who was appointed to the post of director of Tate in January 2017.
• The full annual report is available via

Local authority leisure: surviving and thriving
APSE is hosting a seminar exploring the relationship between the local authority and leisure provider in a seminar to be held at Holywell Park, Loughborough University on 9 November. Titled ‘The Continuing Evolution of Local Authority Leisure Facilities: Ensuring our Leisure Facilities Survive and Thrive into the Future’, the event will provide speakers from across the sport, leisure and culture sector to focus on managing successful facilities and the investment and innovation that helps to ensure a bright future.
Book online at  Leisure Seminar 2017


News in briefs

The National Football Museum has announced the appointment of Ian Penrose as non-executive chairman and Tim Desmond as its new CEO. ‘Week Ends in Gdańsk' is the slogan of a campaign launched by the city of Gdańsk to encourage visitors to visit the City of Freedom over the autumn and winter months. SALTEX 2017 will be at the NEC 1 and 2 November. Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading leisure management companies, has acquired Girls for Sail, the UK’s only all-female sailing school based in Cowes dedicated to teaching women to sail. The Wallace Collection presents El Greco to Goya - Spanish Masterpieces from the Bowes Museum until 7 January 2018.  Slough Borough Council has agreed a new 10-year partnership with leisure operator Everyone Active to manage and help develop its sport and leisure facilities.





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