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Case Study
University of Aberystwyth

In 2022 Strategic Leisure Limited was appointed to undertake a feasibility study on behalf of the University of Aberystwyth and Ceredigion Council.

The wide-ranging scope of the project involved exploring the potential for the development of a shared facility for both students and the local community.

Budget: £23,875
Dates: Dec 2022 to March 2023
Sector: Higher Education

The Brief

At the time of SLL taking on the project, the University and the Council both had ageing and limited-capacity facilities in the town.

Swimming and fitness facilities in particular were longer fit for purpose, being limited in size and availability of activities. The Council and University had identified a lack of indoor hall facilities, with the only all-weather pitch in the area available on the university site itself. There was no provision for hockey at any level and athletes have to travel 20 miles to access the nearest track.

In addition studio space was significantly limited, with the university gym sharing space with its sports hall.

The Work

Following the brief, SLL undertook extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement, including a community survey and meetings with Sport Wales, NGBs, local and student clubs, community focus groups, and local councillors. The team developed this feedback into an action plan which set out – sport by sport – the usage needsfrom both the University and the local community. This enabled identification of two facility mix options – a large-scale facility on one site and the same facility mix spread over two sites.

The University and the Council identified potential sites on which a shared facility could be developed. However, further consultation identified significant environmental and flooding issues on two of those sites: that limited the scope of further facility development on those areas.

The only remaining possible site, while large enough to accommodate the identified facility mix, did not meet the needs of the University nor the Council; both felt the location inappropriate for their respective communities.

SLL developed capital costs and revenue modelling for each of the facility mix options to demonstrate the most cost-
effective and sustainable way forward. We also reviewed and identified a range of potential funding sources.


Project Team

Rachel Sutcliffe

Managing Director

George Sutcliffe

Principal Consultant

Jack Hesketh

Senior Consultant