Greater Exeter has a population of 139,200 with an additional 35,000 commuters travelling in from a wider travel to work area of over 400,000 residents. Over the period to 2026, Greater Exeter will experience rapid expansion with 22,000 new homes and 12,000 new jobs.
As the new community develops and grows at an unprecedented rate, the city of Exeter wanted to address the challenge of embedding active lifestyles for a whole generation of families trying their hardest to make ends meet.
Some headline challenges were identified:
Widening health inequality and pockets of poor health outcomes
Rapid growth, coupled with a transport network at capacity, leading to increased congestion and poor air quality
Pressures of Young families on low incomes
Over 20,000 adults are obese and inactive
Over 35,000 adults have high blood pressure
Families in Cranbrook face real challenge:
Three times national average of pupils on SEN register
Twice as many pupils on Free School Meals compared to national average
Exeter is the slowest moving city in the UK (average driving speed of 4.6mph at peak times)
Global City Futures, provided consultant support to Exeter City Futures to co-author Exeter’s application to Sport England’s Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) programme. The final bid document that was jointly owned and crafted by key city stakeholders.
By focusing intensely in 12 areas across England, Sport England and the local partners aim to identify better ways to address stubborn inequalities and break down barriers that stop people getting active, such as poor transport, safety, cost and confidence.
In December 2017, Sport England awarded Pilot status to Exeter and the East Devon new town of Cranbrook, which is one of 12 places across England (and the only location in the South West) to work on a ground-breaking new approach to tackle inactivity in communities.
Around £100million of National Lottery funding will be invested in the 12 pilot areas over four years, to create innovative partnerships that make it easier for people in these communities to access sport and physical activity.
The Local Delivery Pilot programme, working in collaboration with Sport England, will seek to bring a wide range of local partners and communities together across Exeter and Cranbrook to realise the enormous health, social and economic benefits of leading a regular active lifestyle.