Magazine article Public Finance

Rise and Fall of the Playing Fields of England

Magazine article Public Finance

Rise and Fall of the Playing Fields of England

Article excerpt

A small rise in the number of playing fields in England is not enough to mask the dramatic loss in facilities that has taken place over the past 13 years, sports campaigners said this week.

The National Playing Fields Association said it was appalling' that almost 34,000 sports pitches had disappeared since 1992.

The association's director, Alison Moore-Gwyn, said: 'Even allowing for the few new fields that have been created in the past 13 years, we have lost nearly 45% of our stock of sports pitches. By any standards, this is a shameful record.'

Last month, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport claimed that, for the first time, the number of playing fields was growing. Of the 959 playing field sites approved for development, only 4% were deemed to be detrimental to sporting provision.

Most included new sports centres, tennis courts or athletics tracks or were, in 132 cases, likefor-like replacements. But they also showed that, despite the creation of 72 new sites last year, there were now 44,000 playing pitches in England compared with almost 78,000 in 1992. …

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