Cycles of municipal indoor provision for sport recreation and leisure : The large leisure centre 1983-1993.

POWER, Anthony G. (1997). Cycles of municipal indoor provision for sport recreation and leisure : The large leisure centre 1983-1993. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This research investigates why many local authorities in Great Britain chose to build large leisure centres between 1983 and 1993. Despite the significant role that these buildings played in municipal leisure policy and spending, there is little in the way of a specific literature on the subject. A broader review of literature in the area of local government and public leisure policy and ideology highlights the reactive and permissive nature of much legislation governing leisure provision by local authorities.This study explores municipal decision-making in a number of specific contexts. An historical analysis of the origins of public leisure policy and provision is used to develop a conceptual framework to guide the study and inform the selection of an appropriate methodology. The historical study also suggests parallels between recent developments in the field of leisure provision and the more distant past.The study explored a range of qualitative research methods including the use of historical and administrative records, interviews with councillors and local government officers, and case studies of four local authorities in the North of England that had been involved in the development of large leisure centres. For administrative convenience, many of the data used in the study are drawn from the Yorkshire and Humberside Region, but the facilities chosen for investigation are typical of those built elsewhere in Great Britain after 1983.The findings suggest that major investment in local authority leisure provision is a cyclical phenomenon and that the expansion in the provision of large leisure centres which took place between 1983 and 1993 shared many common features with previous periods of activity. The dynamics of the 1983 to 1993 cycle are explored, including a number of precipitating factors such as: local authorities' wish to match or exceed a similar provision by other municipalities and the availability of capital. The decision to build a large centre was legitimated by the formulation of an agenda of anticipated external benefits that the facility would deliver which included the provision of community and social welfare services. A number of weaknesses in the planning of the schemes was identified including a failure to undertake adequate feasibility studies or establish a system for monitoring whether the anticipated social and economic benefits forecast for the centres were being achieved.The study concludes by identifying a number of issues that require further study and noting that there is evidence to suggest that another cycle of large leisure facility construction may be about to commence.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1997.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20245

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