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Leisure: Learning Disability

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 276263, tabled on 11 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities provide adequate leisure and recreational facilities for people with learning disabilities.

Answered on

17 July 2019

The Government recognises that access to high-quality inclusive spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation can make an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities.

In 2015, the Government sport strategy, Sporting Future: A Strategy for an Active Nation placed a focus on encouraging activity amongst those less likely to be active - including people with disabilities. The Government supports efforts that aim to encourage people with all forms of disability to become active and to fulfil their sporting potential.

The Activity Alliance's ‘Inclusive Fitness Initiative’ is supporting leisure centres to become more welcoming and accessible environments to disabled people. Activity Alliance run the initiative in collaboration with Sport England and UK Active and aim to give the active leisure sector support to improve, modernise and invest in its facilities, with the ambition that every facility in the country complies with the Activity Alliance ‘Inclusive Fitness Initiative’.

In 2018-19 the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government committed over £15 million to support a robust package of new Government initiatives to support vibrant and inclusive open spaces to enable more people to participate in leisure activities. This included the Pocket Parks Plus programme which is providing funding for 198 community-led projects across England to create new or renovate existing parks. A number of the successful projects will be creating open spaces that address social inclusion - and increasing access for people with different disabilities to leisure and wellbeing activities.