Health, Social Care and Sport Committee – Thursday 15 November 2018

Minister for Culture, Tourism & Sport

Memorandum on the Sport and Physical Activity Draft Budget Proposals for 2019-20


1.0 Introduction

This paper provides background financial information to the Committee regarding my spending plans as the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport in respect of the Sport and Physical Activity budgets within my portfolio, as set out in the detailed Draft Budget published on 23 October 2018.


In the letter dated 30 July 2018 inviting me to attend the Committee session, the Committee has requested information on specific budgetary matters.  The promotion of physical activity requires collaboration across a range of sectors, public bodies and Welsh Government Departments including health, education, transport and environment, as well as sport.  This paper responds only in terms of the sport-related budget expenditure lines, and the work which my officials are undertaking in conjunction with officials in other Departments.


2.0 Summary of Budget Changes

a)    A breakdown of the 2019—20 Economy and Transport MEG allocations which relate to sport and physical activity (by Spending Programme Area, Action and Budget and Expenditure Line (BEL).  

b)    Indicative 2020-21 Economy and Transport MEG allocations which relate to sport and physical activity.

c)    Commentary on each of the Actions relating to sport and physical activity within the Economy and Transport MEG, including an analysis and explanation of changes between the Draft Budget 2019-20 and the First Supplementary Budget (June 2018).


Table 1 presents an over-view of the budget allocations.  The Draft Budget 2019-20 provides a one year plan for revenue expenditure and a two year plan for capital investment. 



Action: Sport and Physical Activity

Budget Expenditure Line (BEL)





2019-20 Draft Budget (£000)

2020-21 Draft Budget (£000)






Sport Wales





Support for Sport





Revenue Total










Sport Wales





Repayments of Sports Facilities Capital Loan Scheme





Capital Total






The Revenue Draft Budget figures for Sport Wales for 2019-20 are the same as the original baseline figures for that year.


Capital Draft Budget figures show a reduction of £1,000 between the baseline budget and the draft budget.  The 2020-21 indicative budget shows the capital budget returning to the 2017-18 budget figure of £345,000.


Repayments of Sports Facilities Loan Scheme represent repayments made in respect of three loans made to Local Authorities under the scheme.  The total loans advanced amounted to £1,964,480.  These are fully repayable over a period of seven years (repayments started in 2018-19 and an adjustment will be made in the Second Supplementary Budget for this).  These amounts are repayable to Central Finance in the Welsh Government.


3.0 Responses to Specific Information Requested by the Committee


3.1 The funding allocated to Sport Wales, and progress made in monitoring effectiveness of Sport Wales’ use of funding.


Total funding allocated to Sport Wales is shown in Table 1.  

Monitoring the effectiveness of Sport Wales’ use of funding is undertaken at a range of levels: individual discussions of projects, commissioning Sport Wales to review the impact of specific programmes (such as Free Swimming and the Calls for Action programme), quarterly monitoring meetings, and attendance at the Sport Wales Board meetings.  My officials also meet regularly with the Sport Wales Chief Executive to monitor progress on key projects and I meet periodically with the Chair and Chief Executive Officer to discuss policy priorities and progress against delivery of the Remit Letter and Business Plan.


We have responded to points made by the sport sector during the independent review of Sport Wales and enhanced our approaches regarding the monitoring and effectiveness of Sport Wales.  Sport Wales prepare an annual Business Plan which responds to the remit letter and sets out the key areas of activity for the year ahead, together with respective performance measures.  We have introduced a new tracker document to facilitate focussed discussion around projects and spend, and to record progress against the requirements in the remit letter and Business Plan.  My officials meet Sport Wales for quarterly monitoring meetings and provide me with regular updates.   In addition, officials regularly attend Sport Wales Board meetings as observers in order to build stronger relationships and increase visibility with the members.  We have also seconded an official to work with Sport Wales in a policy liaison role, to support policy delivery and to co-ordinate the Healthy and Active Fund development and delivery.


The Insight Team in Sport Wales collects data via its own surveys on levels of physical activity and participation in sport and also provides analysis of data collected through the National Survey of Wales.  Sport Wales will be publishing the findings of their School Sport and FE Sport and Active Lifestyle surveys, these are expected towards the end of the year.  Analysis from the previous surveys revealed that the proportion of children participating in sport three or more times a week had increased from 40% in 2013 to 48% in 2015 and 49% of students are hooked on sport and took part in sport and physical activity on three or more occasions per week.


Sport Wales also recently commissioned an evaluation of the social and economic value of sport in Wales.  The results will be published over the coming months in themed tranches.


3.2 The Welsh Government’s priorities for sport and physical activity for the next three years, and allocations/projected spend for delivery of these.


The priorities for sport and physical activity are presented in the annual remit letter to Sport Wales.  This sets out the expectations around priorities for their annual business plan and commitments and objectives for the three-year Corporate Plan.


The priorities are:

·         Getting more people active at every stage of their lives: while they are at school, when they leave education, when they get a job, if they have a family of their own, and when they retire.

·         Providing children with the best start in life by helping schools to teach them the skills and give them the knowledge, motivation and confidence to be, and stay, active.

·         Investing effort and resources where it is needed most, where there are significant variations in participation and where there is a lack of opportunity or aspiration to be active.

·         Helping to support the development of community sport across Wales.

·         Helping sport to continue to nurture, develop and support talent to deliver success that inspires people and reinforces our identity as a sporting nation.


Outcomes are also listed in the Sport Wales annual remit letter:

·         More people meeting the Chief Medical Officers physical activity guidelines.

·         More people undertaking sport and physical recreation on three or more occasions per week.

·         An increase in sport and physical recreation participation by those most in need or disadvantaged.

·         A system that delivers continuous elite sport success while ensuring the safety, well-being and welfare of all sportsmen and sports women.


A key under-pinning theme of this work is the importance of collaboration, working across the many partners and delivery bodies for sport and physical activity across Wales, innovative and regional collaborative approaches and opportunities to scale-up successful programmes and ways of working.


Responding to points made by the independent review of Sport Wales, we have also asked them to undertake a number of operational reviews including:

·         Review the vision and produce a new long-term strategy for sport in Wales.

·         Give further consideration to the Community Sport and Activity Programme.


Given the overall budget allocation to Sport Wales (broadly £22 million annually in addition to £14.5 million Lottery funding) the Sport Wales Board recommend to me how that funding should best be allocated to meet the priorities.  This process is undertaken first through informal discussions then formally through their Business Plan. 


3.3 What evidence has driven the Welsh Government’s setting of priorities and proposed budget for sport and physical activity.


Evidence has been drawn from the National Survey for Wales, the School Sports Survey, the FE Sport and Active Lifestyle survey and previous surveys such as Active Adults and the Wales Health Survey.  Qualitative evidence has been collated from a wide range of consultation discussions, for example, the review of sports facilities in Wales, and results from Sport Wales’ “Conversation” with key partners and stakeholders across Wales as part of the development of their new vision and refreshed long-term strategy and the independent review of Sport Wales.



Sport Wales also undertakes a number of programme evaluations (such as the evaluation of Calls for Action that has run concurrently since the programme began in 2012) as well as receiving monitoring reports from key delivery partners (National Governing Bodies and other grant recipients).  These results are used as evidence in determining future budget priorities.


The life-course approach highlights clear stages at which individuals are at far greater risk of losing their physical activity levels.  It offers a mechanism against which to identify how and where to target interventions and suggests what actions might be the most effective. 


3.4 Evidence of how the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 and five ways of working have influenced the budget allocations for sport and physical activity.


The well-being outcomes and ways of working are embedded within all aspects of Sport Wales’ responsibilities and activities including its strategies and business plans.  They have developed four well-being objectives in consultation with stakeholders and these have been published alongside a statement of commitment.


In the review and development of the new vision and long-term strategy for sport in Wales, Sport Wales has successfully sought to involve and collaborate with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional stakeholders (sport sector and individuals).  Sport Wales is currently working collaboratively with Public Health Wales and Natural Resources Wales to develop a joint action plan to increase levels of physical activity across Wales.  They are also developing the Healthy and Active Fund in partnership with the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to stimulate collaborative working across communities that will have long-term sustainable benefits.


The new Healthy & Active Fund (HAF) seeks to embed the sustainable development principles of the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015 and five ways of working into its design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation.


3.5 Details of how the budget will support:


o   Increase levels of physical activity among children and young people in Wales.

Sport Wales administer and invest in a number of dedicated programmes tailored towards children and young people.  These include initiatives with StreetGames, BME Cymru Sport Network, the Active Young People programmes, Free Swimming, Young Ambassadors and the Urdd and has involved investment of over £7 million. The impact is being reviewed to determine future year provision.


Sport Wales continue to work with Education to support the implementation of the new curriculum and Well-being Area of Learning and Experience. 


Sport Wales will also be publishing its School Sport Survey towards the end of the year which will ensure that schools, colleges and local authorities have valuable insight to be able to better plan their physical activity offerings.  This data will also help Sport Wales, national governing bodies and other organisations identify both the latent demand for specific sports and help inform the direction of future investment.


o   The wider preventative agenda.

The initiatives and interventions funded through the sport and physical activity budget allocations contribute to helping individuals become physically active, or maintain levels of physical activity, with consequent preventative health benefits.  The initiatives and interventions are focused both on increasing participation in under-represented groups and on the full range of ages – from the earliest ages to the oldest; and on providing skills and training to individuals to become coaches, volunteers and peer-group champions. 


Sport Wales also provide the statutory function of responding to planning applications where green space is threatened by development proposals.


The forthcoming “Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales” plan will focus on long-term, sustainable change for the prevention and reduction of obesity across Wales.  A key theme within this plan is encouraging more physical activity.  My officials have been working closely with Public Health to contribute to the proposals that will be consulted upon over the coming months. 


o   Joint working between sport, public health and other partners.

Sport Wales has been commissioned to work collaboratively with Public Health Wales and Natural Resources Wales to produce and deliver a joint action plan.


Sport Wales and Public Health Wales are working with Health and Sport Divisions to deliver the new Healthy and Active Fund.  Launched in July 2018, thee first phase investment of £5 million over three years will focus on improving physical activity levels.  Applicants will be encouraged to develop solutions that take advantage of collaboration, existing community assets such as clubs, schools and workplaces, and new technology.  Full details of the Healthy and Active Fund application process were announced on 15th October.  A series of roadshows have been held across Wales for interested parties to learn more about how the fund will operate.


My officials in Sport work closely with officials across many Welsh Government Departments, for example, Education (21st Century Schools Programme, Community Hubs); Transport (Active Travel); Health (Healthy and Active Fund, Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales, The Daily Mile, Welsh Network of Healthy Schools, Loneliness and Isolation); and Communities (Community Asset Transfer, Communities Facilities Programme).