Monday 23 February 2009

Telegraph campaign seeks to save courts

the Telegraph campaign is launchedWe've been reporting the alarming rate at which public squash courts are disappearing in the UK for a couple of years now - click on provision, above.

So it's encouraging to see that the Daily Telegraph have taken up the baton to try and bring national coverage to this decline, as part of its rejuvenated squash coverage.

It has launched a campaign to save our sports facilities - with backing from some high-profile public figures ...

Its new campaign to save community sporting facilities in the UK is supported by Gordon Kerr, board director of England Squash. Kerr has started his own 'threats database' after being concerned at the number of clubs diminishing in north London alone (which has been followed closely here on squashblog).

The campaign is also backed by Tim Lamb, chief executive of the Central Council for Physical Recreation (CCPR), the independent voice for governing and representative bodies in sport, and Hugh Robertson, Shadow Minister for Sport.

At the root of the campaign is the aim of putting pressure on the UK Government to act on its PPG17 planning law. This states that:

"local authorities should ensure that provision is made for local sports and recreation facilities (either through an increase in the number of facilities or through improvements to existing facilities) where planning provision is granted for new developments (especially housing)."

Campaigners fear that this provision is being ignored, leading to open spaces, sports and recreation being threatened by diminishing built sports facilities. Squashblog has particularly followed the redevelopment plans for the Sobell and Finsbury leisure centres in Islington, which are under threat.

England number one James Willstrop has also added his voice to the Telegraph's campaign:

"It is pathetic. It is all money-driven and unfortunately sports facilities are not as viable as a block of flats."

Sign the Telegraph petition

squashblog coverage of squash provision


  1. my local leisure, Shavington leisure centre, cheshire is shutting its last remaining squash court, to make way for an enlarged gym. its a disgrace that a council run facility has taken this decision without any public consultation! Please could you add this to your court watch and advise me of any way i could fight this.

  2. Hi,

    England Squash has been monitoring the increasing number of court closures and is making efforts where possible to try and challenge these closures.

    The Daily Telegraph (see their squash page) has also recently launched a campaign to stop local sports facilities being closed.

    Follow this link to learn more about both:

    If you have problems contacting them please email me (click on 'Contact' - top right) and I will forward you more details.

    If you send me some more details about this closure in your area I may also be able to highlight the story here.

  3. Waverley Borough council are planning on Demolishing Godalming's only Squash Courts once the new £6 Million Godalming Leisure Centre Open later this year.

    Anyone who works, lives or Plays in Waverley who is concerned about this please help up by signing the petition on their web site:

    No courts are included in the new Centre as a 'survey' showed it was a 'low priority' for the local people.

    Simply checking the bookings of the existing courts would show demand was there, as the courts are booked out each weekday evening, however this, it appears, would have complicated things too much. I did ask for evening usage figures, however they were 'unavailable'.

    Many thanks for your support.


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