Getting Harrow active with a ‘fitness plan’ for Harrow’s sports and leisure facilities

Kenton rec BMX

A fitness check for Harrow’s sports and leisure offer was welcomed by councillors last night.

The new indoor and outdoor sports facilities strategy identifies opportunities to expand access to existing facilities. It also looks at where new sports facilities for the next decade and beyond are needed.

At the heart of strategy is the aim to improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequality by increasing residents’ participation in sport and physical activity. It will seek to ensure our facilities are of the appropriate quality and accessible.

It complements Harrow’s new Local Plan and will protect existing sports facilities in the borough. The strategy also pinpoints where new sports facilities, and specifically for what types of sport, are likely to find favour with planners in any new development.

Councillor Jean Lammiman, Cabinet Member for Community and Culture, said:

“We want to ensure Harrow is a place where residents want to spend their leisure time. This strategy will help us improve Harrow’s sports infrastructure to meet the needs of residents – helping to improve their future health and wellbeing.”

“Our immediate priority is to protect and continue to maintain the current level of facilities to ensure no loss of provision. The current pressures on public sector budgets alongside increasing operational costs and capital costs - for maintenance and new facilities - means we must plan prudently for future needs.”

Councillors heard that, since the last strategy in 2018, Harrow’s sport offering in the borough had been boosted by:

  • 8 new fine grass cricket pitches and one additional artificial cricket pitch
  • 3G artificial turf pitch at Bannister Sports Centre
  • The new bike pump track at Kenton Recreation Ground; and
  • 25 refurbished tennis courts across eight parks (funded by the Lawn Tennis Association)

But the report showed that

  • four out of 10 football grass pitches in the borough were of poor quality;
  • almost half the demand for sports halls was being met outside Harrow
  • indoor swimming pools including Harrow Leisure Centre needed to be modernised or replaced as more than half the demand for swimming was being met outside the borough

An Action Plan as part of the strategy outlines how the authority will work with sports providers in the borough over the next decade. In the next two years, the council will also finalise an Options and Affordability assessment for the replacement of Harrow Leisure Centre to provide a new sports hall suitable for community sport and the hosting of indoor sports events with spectators.


Published: 15th March 2024