Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub praised by Sport England for its ‘inclusive’ approach to community fitness
The Hub, which is managed by LiveWire on behalf of Warrington Borough Council, underwent a multi-million pound redevelopment that included redesigning the building to meet leading dementia-friendly standards throughout.
Now Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub has been highlighted as a case study in a new document published by Sport England that outlines the organisation’s 10-year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.
“Uniting the Movement” aims to reimagine how sport and physical activity can remain central to people’s lives and help improve it, following the current pandemic.
Elements at Great Sankey highlighted by Sport England as successfully promoting an inclusive approach to physical activity include the building’s dementia friendly design and clear signage, the accessible changing rooms and entrance hall and the overall attention to detail.
The community facility reopened its doors in February 2018 as part of a phased opening, creating a safe and welcoming leisure environment for people of all ages and fitness levels.
At its official ribbon cutting in January 2020 the Hub became the first public building in the world to receive the University of Sterling’s Gold Award for dementia friendly design. Staff received training in order to raise awareness of dementia and the impact it can have on people, their family and friends and introduced dementia friendly exercise classes and swimming sessions. The site also has refurbished swimming pools, 3G outdoor pitches, tennis courts, a state-of-the-art gym, sports hall and group exercise studios, as well as a library and conferencing facilities.
Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of LiveWire, said: “It is fantastic to see that Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub has been highlighted by Sport England as a thriving health and wellbeing facility that offers wonderful leisure access and activities to all members of the community. I’m extremely proud to be part of a team that has developed a thriving community facility that truly delivers for all members of our community. We look forward to being able to reopen our doors once national restrictions allow and continue the work to help make Warrington residents healthier and happier.”
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Community, Cllr Tony Higgins, said: “Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub is a fantastic asset for Warrington, a first-class facility designed for everybody in the community. We have worked hard to create an accessible, welcoming environment, which fully meets the needs of people.
“I’m delighted that our vision to deliver a fully inclusive facility, with accessible health and wellbeing services and first-class dementia-friendly features has been recognised by Sport England. To be held up as an example of best practice, nationally, for inclusion in physical activity is the latest success story for our hub.”