All FAQs

Category: Access

Are consultants working for my organisation entitled to access the website or data?

Consultants who have been appointed to deliver specific work on behalf of a registered organisation are also entitled to register for access to Active Places Power, or the data on it, free of charge. They too will be bound by the User Agreement Terms and Conditions. The consultant should register separately to the contracting organisation, providing details of the request and an estimate on the duration that the accounts need to remain active in order for the contracted work to be completed.

How can I register / access Active Places Power?

Active Places Power is a password protected website. Users are assigned different rights according to their needs and level of use.

To register please complete the online form - see "Register" link on the homepage. Depending upon your organisation and your requirements, access may be granted automatically.

When registering with the website you will be asked to agree with the following Terms and Conditions:

- Website Terms and Conditions -

- Open Data Licence -

- Privacy Statement -

How can I reset my password?

Passwords can be reset via the Active Places Power homepage here.  

Note, to comply with GDPR Active Places Power has an annual automated process to request user confirmation, via email, that their account is still required.  (This is triggered one year from the last date of account confirmation).  If confirmation has not been made within 30 days, of the date of the e-mail being sent, then the account (and all personal data) is automatically deleted.   This may be a reason for a password change and reset request not being received. Other reasons may be that the email address has been entered incorrectly or that the user's email client has blocked the reset password email in which case the spam/junk email folders should be checked for an email received from 

How can I unsubscribe or remove my Active Places Power user account?

Should you no longer require access to please send a request to the Active Places Team via Alternatively, within the My Account tab, users can configure their email notification preferences and delete their own account.  

By removing / deleting an account you will be removed from any future Active Places Power notifications and all personal data will be deleted.  

How many users can register from my organisation?

There is no limit on the number of users who can register per organisation.

I am not sure whether my organisation is eligible, who do I contact?

You can either submit a request to access Active Places Power through the registration form or contact providing details of your organisation. Either method will send your request details to the Active Places Team who will seek further clarification if needed before making an assessment.

Is there any charge to access the website or data?

Access is free for non-commercial use of the website and data. However, Sport England reserves the right to charge for access where either the website or data will be used for commercial purposes. Refer to the Terms and Conditions for further details.

Which organisations are eligible for Active Places Power Registration?

Active Places Power is a website primarily aimed to support individuals and organisations (such as Local Authorities, National Governing Bodies for Sport, and Clubs) involved in providing sport provision within England with a series of tools to guide investment decisions and develop sport provision strategies. 

Other individuals and organisations can also access the website but we may seek to clarify your need in order to determine if the website is relevant or if access to certain tools needs to be provided in addition to the standard functions.  We normally request that users emails addresses reflect the organizations they represent although acknowledge this is not always possible. 

The following types of organisation are currently specified when registering for Active Places Power access:

• Local Authorities (lower and upper tier)
• Non Governmental Department Bodies
• Central Government Departments
• MPs
• National Governing Bodies for Sport
• Sporting Professional Bodies
• County Sports Partnerships
• Individual Clubs
• Planning & leisure consultants
• Companies wishing to use data for marketing
• Trusts
• Universities and all other academic institutions
A user's registration details should not be passed onto any third parties.

Category: Background

What is Active Places Power website and what can it be used for?

Active Places Power is a website to help those involved in providing sport provision with a series of tools to guide investment decisions and develop sport provision strategies. Primarily for Local Authorities and national governing bodies of sport it can help to build an evidence base when identifying and planning where to target interventions for facilities, clubs or other activities.

The website is underpinned by a single database that holds information on sports facilities throughout England. For more details on the data, including which facilities are within the database and how frequently the data is updated, please refer to the specific FAQs.

The tools within the website have a range of capabilities from quick searches and simple reports to a series of push-button analytical tools that aim to make complex modelling techniques as user-friendly and intuitive as possible. Each tool is supported with a guide and outputs can be downloaded for use in reports or local systems for further analysis.

The website should be used for:

          • A starting point for auditing existing facility provision as part of sports facility assessments and strategies

          • Benchmarking to compare existing facility provision with nearby and comparable local authorities

          • Basic assessments of the balance between the supply and demand of facilities

          • Creation of catchments for existing or proposed sports facilities to determine accessibility and profile socio- economic and demographic characteristics

The following limitations should be noted:

          • It is limited to 15 facility types

          • It is not possible to perform scenario tests in terms of closing or opening of facilities

          • It does not include detailed programming information and it does not include information on who uses the facilities

          • It does not include individual sports or specific activities which take place on sites

Active Places Power is password protected and users will be assigned different rights according to their needs and level of use. Again for further details on who can register to access the site please refer to the specific FAQ.

What is Be Inspired?

Be Inspired is Sport England’s consumer engagement platform.  It has 4.1 million registered users to whom Be Inspired provides information on how to get involved with sport through promoting major sport events and trumpeting opportunities to take part in sport or activity.  Registered users mainly comprise those who registered to buy tickets for London 2012. 

For a limited period the Be Inspired website had a sport and fitness finder tool, previous piloted through a Sport England pilot called spogo, but this has been withdrawn due to the underlying data becoming out of date and not being maintained.   

For more information see  The Be Inspired project team at contacted via

What is spogo?

spogo was a lottery-funded, not-for-profit, digital service pilot designed to help the general public find sport and fitness opportunities near them. The Sport England initiative delivered by the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) now UK Active provided a simple search-led tool to help people find and book physical activities as easily as finding and booking a train ticket.

It provided a service for anyone inspired by London 2012 - or the ever-increasing growth in messaging about the need to exercise – to try a new sport and continue to encourage them. The aim being to deliver a Digital Health Legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through increasing participation in sport and physical activity.

As of January 2015 the spogo pilot was decommissioned with the sport and fitness finder being integrated within the Be Inspired website for a limited period.  The latter has also been withdrawn due to the underlying data becoming out of date. See What is Be Inspired? for background information.

Alternartively see

When was Active Places created and for what reason?

Active Places is essentially the brand name for a sports facility database. The national database was launched in 2004 and currently holds data on over 157,000 facilities located at over 39,000 sites for 15 different facility types (approximately 80% of where formal sport takes place), with each record being checked on an annual basis. (Counts accurate as of December 2019)

The original business case for Active Places came from the 2002 Cabinet Office publication Game Plan. This recommended setting up a facilities database to help ensure that facility provision is planned at the national and local level, and investment is going in the right areas and not leading to duplication of provision.

Sport England was given the responsibility to establish the database. Since 2004, the data has primarily been used to provide information on where to play sport to consumers and also deliver a number of services to assist local authorities and other facility providers in the strategic planning of sports facilities. The key website built upon the database is
a Business to Business, password protected website designed for Local Authorities, National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGB) and other partners to help them plan more strategically sports facility provision.

In addition to the above Sport England websites, active places data is accessible as open data ( and is used by organisations including: Football Foundation and Football Association, Active Parternships e.g. Get Active London, and NHS Choices.

Category: Data

Can data be downloaded or accessed via an API?

Presently, Active Places facility data can be downloaded either via:

1)  Active Places Power Reports (for example, the Detailed Report), for a given area of interest, which will create a snapshot report that can be downloaded as a single csv file.  This csv file contains a standard set of fields including Easting and Northing grid coordinates.

2) – Active Places Open Data (see Active Places Power webpage footer - no login required) which includes all facilities EXCEPT those that are: closed, under construction, planned or are marked as private on the database.

Active Places open data is available as CSV flat files or in a JSON format. Both formats are updated on a nightly basis.  (Note this replaces the version previously available via the spogo website, which was decommissioned in January 2015)   

Can I use Active Places to understand the change in sports facility provision over time?

(Last Update: 22/02/2023)

Active Places represents the current provision of sports facilities. This aligns with the primary use case of the database as a strategic planning tool. Given this focus, on the current provision of sports facilities, the analysis of trends over time, particularly facility counts, should to be treated with a high level of caution and is not recommended. Further investigation to understand the circumstances which may influence any trends observed is required. Active Places data considerations are outlined below. These do not consider wider influencing factors that should also be investigated.

a) Snapshots

Snapshots of the Active Places database, where held, should be used solely for backup purposes. Snapshots are not appropriate for temporal analysis as:

Sport England and our data partners continue to add facilities, irrespective of their build year to the dataset. These “found” facilities would not be represented in a historic cut, even though they were open at that time.

The data model has changed over time introducing new facility types/subtypes and changing the way some facilities are recorded.


b) Approximating temporal change from the database

No sites/facilities are deleted from Active Places. Sites/facilities are closed or in the case of grass pitches identified as “Not Currently Marked Out”.

Active Places facilities each have a “Build Year”.

These “temporal” attributes can, in some use cases, support an estimation of the change in facility provision over time.

The approach, which should use the most current version of the database, assumes that facility supply in any given year can be estimated by considering those facilities with a “Build Year” prior to that year and a “Closed Year” (if applicable) after that year.


Where using “Build Year” and “Closure Year” to estimate change over time, it is important to remember:

Active Places is updated via an annual audit cycle as a result, it can take up to 1-year to identify site/facilities closures. Recent change will have a high degree of uncertainty and should be treated with caution.

The “Build Year” for a facility may be estimated. This is indicated by a flag in the database.

Closed sites/facilities may reopen. The “Closure Reason” is a good indicator of whether a site/facility is being replaced.

The approach does not consider temporary closures, for example, a facility currently operational may have been temporarily closed, due to refurbishment, in earlier time periods.

Sites/facilities which were closed prior to the establishment, and routine collection of facility data, by Active Places will not be included in the database.

Site/facilities have been added to Active Places over time. Facilities added to the platform most recently will not have the same temporal depth.

The appropriate time-period for any temporal analysis of Active Places data is a function of when that facility type was added to the database and the completeness of the dataset that was added for that facility type.

Some facility definition and attributes have changed over time this may result in temporal inconsistencies.

Facility counts should not be used where there is a one-to-many relationship between the facility and the number of courts, pitches or rinks.

Facility, court, pitch or rink counts should not be considered in isolation. Other attributes which describe the size or type of facility may be applicable.


The approach outlined above is most appropriate for built facilities. It cannot be used to estimate changes in the provision of grass pitches over time as:

“Build Year” is known to be missing and/or to contain high levels of uncertainty for grass pitches.

The pitch configuration detailed in Active Places reflects the current markings. These markings may not represent those at any earlier time period.

Pitch types identified as “Not currently marked out” may have been operational in earlier time periods. Active Places does not identify when a pitch configuration was changed, and pitches of a given size no longer marked out at a site.

Active Places does not include information on the change in pitch configuration at a site over time (i.e. an increase/decrease in the count of adult football pitches).

Active Places does not include information on the relationship between pitches. For example,

      ▪ Adult grass pitch provision may decrease to allow for the marking of multiple junior grass pitches or rugby pitches

      ▪ Junior grass pitch provision may increase due to an increase in overmarking on adult pitches.

      ▪ Grass pitch provision may decrease to enable the creation of an Artificial Grass Pitch at the site.

In conclusion, while the most recent version of the database can be used to approximate a temporal analysis, this is applicable only for a subset of facility types. As with all analysis based on the Active Places data, it is important to understand the data model and key attributes (i.e. Facility Status, Ownership, Access), but to also carefully consider the caveats stated above.

How can Active Places open data in JSON format be used?

The following provides a guide to using Active Places open data in JSON format.

1. How to access Active Places data in JSON format

The Active Places data in JSON format can be accessed via the "Open Data" section of Active Places Power ( A link is also available on the site's footer.

This page has the options of:

  • Data Download: Where a full file of Active Places data in JSON format can be accessed
  • API Docs:  Where the API and related documentation for ongoing JSON API requests can be accessed
  • Change Log: Where details of open data related changes and known issues are published

2. How to get the data to establish a local copy of the Active Places data

A full file of Active Places data is generated on a daily basis, this represents the current data at that point in time. The latest version can be downloaded by accessing and selecting the "Download JSON" option. Once downloaded, the JSON data file can be used to establish a local copy of Active Places data.  

There is no specified JSON schema for the data format; in order to translate and use this information it is highly recommended that users of the data familiarise themselves with the Sports Data Model and supporting documentation (see SDM FAQs).

3. How to maintain a reference to a local copy of the Active Places data

Once a local copy of Active Places data has been established, using the JSON data download file, data updates can be maintained by using Rest API GET requests.   

The request URL for the API, which does not require any authentication, is Further information to outline the API and a harness to test requests is available at!/Sites/Sites_Get.

The JSON data provides a "modified" value per record, which is treated as a timestamp. This does not directly map to a time or date, but is an incremental value that reflects changes in the database (i.e. for every change in the database, the "modified" timestamp value increments by one). The JSON data download file provides results in ascending order, so the "modified" value of the final record in the download file needs to be identified. This can then be used as the "afterTimeStamp" input parameter for the API request. The number of results to be returned per page is set to a default of 10 and the "limit" input parameter can be used to modify this (up to a maximum of 100).

The API response results should be applied as updates to the local copy which was established based on the full file data download. The process can then be repeated on an ongoing basis at the user defined frequency (i.e. identify the last "modified" value returned in the previous response and use this as the input criteria for the next request). In this way Active Places data can be maintained.

How can I provide feedback on the facility data within the website?

Should you want to provide detailed facility feedback or update a lot of information for your area of interest (for example, for a local sport and recreation strategy) please contact Adetiq on 01273 202212 or  

Adetiq replaced The Leisure Database Company as the Active Places Data Validation Team on 2nd November 2015.  

How frequently does Active Places data get updated?

Active Places records are maintained via a combination of a third-party (Adetiq) who are contracted by Sport England to collect, validate, and maintain sport facility data in addition to individual facility owners and managers who have taken responsibility to self-maintain and update information on their own facility records.     

Adetiq contacts all sites on a rolling annual update cycle. This ensures most records are no more than a year old with the aim that all records that are self-maintained are no more than 18 months old. Individual facility owners and managers may update a record on a more frequent basis to reflect changes at a site.

As updates are collected, they are processed to the live database and immediately available within the Active Places Power website. Prior to 2nd November 2015 updates were made available on a weekly basis.

Is Active Places data available in GIS formats?

Active Places facility data is not available in native GIS formats such as Esri shapefile. 

However, the geocoded Active Places facility data can be downloaded either via:

1)  Active Places Power Reports (for example, the Detailed Report), for a given area of interest, which will create a snapshot report that can be downloaded as a single csv file.  This csv file contains a standard set of fields including Easting and Northing grid coordinates.

2) – Active Places Open Data (see Active Places Power webpage footer - no login required) which includes all facilities EXCEPT those that are: closed, under construction, planned or are marked as private on the database. 

Active Places open data is available as a series of CSV flat files updated on a nightly basis. This download provides the most comprehensive set of Active Places data but records within each file need to be linked together via common identifiers and lookups. All sport facility records contain Easting and Northing coordinates. 

(Note this replaces the version previously available via the spogo website, which was decommissioned in January 2015)   

What are Active Partnership areas?

‘Active Partnerships’ (formerly known as ‘County Sport Partnerships’ or CSPs) are organisations who work collaboratively with local partners to create the conditions for an active nation.  Sport England invest in 43 Active Partnerships covering every part of England. This network of organisations has a strong understanding of their local place. They can broker and support the right relationships, and help identify the best opportunities to increase sport and physical activity in their communities. Their focus is on inactive people and under-represented groups.

For more information about Active Partnerships see: and

What are the criteria for facility inclusion?

The following criteria are used to determine inclusion within the Active Places database:

• Public sector, including local authority (including parish councils)
• Education (including further and higher education), Ministry of Defence and Health
• Sports clubs, including: local sports clubs and Civil Service Sports & Social Club
• Private/commercial, including: hotels, leisure clubs and private sector chain providers

What happens when changes are made to existing facility types?

Active Places Power is part of a continuous program of enhancements and development. Development to create new tools/reports, improve functionality and/or data coverage periodically results in a change to the Sports Data Model (SDM) and/or existing site and facility records. 

For existing facilities, changes might include: 

- The definition of a new facility subtype.  

- Updates to the attributes used to describe a facility. 


Defining a new facility subtype 

Each facility type (e.g. Grass Pitches) is made up of a series of facility subtypes (e.g. football pitches, rugby pitches…). As more data is collected, the SDM may be adapted to include a new facility subtype.  

Where a new facility subtype is added, the Active Places Power team must: 

1. Review existing facility subtypes and determine whether there is a need to define a set of rules to reclassify existing Active Places facilities. 

2. Work to populate the new facility subtype. 

By working with facility providers and National Governing Bodies, the team will seek, where possible, to implement data changes as quickly as possible after the SDM changes go-live. However, where the impact is small and/or data unavailable, changes may be implemented as part of ongoing data auditing. In this instance, we would expect all required changes to have been made and verified within approximately one-year through the annual audit cycle. 


Updating the attribute(s) used to describe a facility (and facility subtype) 

Facilities (and their associated subtypes) are described by a set of attributes. To enhance the richness of Active Power Places, additional attributes will, periodically, be added to the SDM. 

By working with facility providers and National Governing Bodies, the Active Places Power team will seek, where possible, to populate new attributes as quickly as possible after the SDM changes go-live. However, where the impact is small and/or data unavailable, changes may be implemented as part of ongoing data auditing. 

Where attribute changes are deemed to be significant or the risk of misinterpretation is high, a flag will be added to the facility subtype to confirm whether an attribute has been checked and verified.  

This flag implies solely whether a site has been asked to complete the specified attribute(s). It does not imply any assessment against a specified standard or certification. The presence of a “checked” flag does not invalidate a facility record, it implies only that attributes have been added to the facility following the most recent update to / audit of information held for that site. 


All changes to the SDM will be documented and users alerted. Where required, additional information will also be provided as a FAQ. 

What is Rural Urban Classification data?

The Rural Urban Classification is an official statistic, provided by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, that is used to distinguish rural and urban areas. The Classification defines areas as rural if they fall outside of settlements with a resident population of more than 10,000.

For more information on this dataset see

Within Active Places Power, the Rural Urban Classification (RUC) is a single map layer classifying each Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) with its RUC setting.  See Map > Map Layers > Environment Data > Rural Urban Classification. 

Eight classifications are defined within the single map layer.  They are: 

  • A1 - Urban major conurbation
  • B1 - Urban minor conurbation
  • C1 - Urban city and town
  • C2 - Urban city and town (sparse)
  • D1 - Rural town and fringe
  • D2 - Rural town and fringe (sparse)
  • E1 - Rural village and dispersed
  • E2 - Rural village and dispersed (sparse)

What is the Active Places Data Platform?

Sport England has developed a new online tool called the Active Places Data Platform (  The (password protected) platform is used to manage and maintain the national sport facility database (Active Places) in real-time.  

Data records are collected, validated and maintained by Adetiq - Sport England's appointed (November 2015) Active Places Data Validation Team contractor. In addition, the fully self-service platform allows individual facility owners and managers to self manage their facility data.  This enables the data to be maintained by those who know their facilities the best and ensures data is as up to date as possible. 

For any queries regarding the Active Places Data Platform contact Adetiq on 01273 202212 or

What is the English Indicies of Deprivation data?

The English indices of deprivation is an official statistic provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and are statistics on relative deprivation in small areas in England. The English indices of deprivation ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area).  The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) combines information from seven domains to produce an overall relative measure of deprivation.  For more information on this dataset see

Within Active Places Power, the English indices of deprivation consist of the IMD, 7 domains and two additional Income Indexes each as dedicated map layers.  See Map > Map Layers > Population Data > Indices of Deprivation (2019).  

Seven domains of deprivation are combined to produce the overall Index of Multiple Deprivation, each of which contains a number of component indicators.

The criteria for inclusion of these indicators are that they should be ‘domain specific’ and appropriate for the purpose of measuring major features of that deprivation; up-to-date; capable of being updated on a regular basis; statistically robust; and available for the whole of England at a small area level in a consistent form.

Income Deprivation Domain

The Income Deprivation Domain measures the proportion of the population in an area experiencing deprivation relating to low income. The definition of low income used includes both those people that are out-of-work, and those that are in work but who have low earnings (and who satisfy the respective means tests).  A combined count of income deprived individuals per Lower-layer Super Output Area is calculated by summing the following six non-overlapping indicators:

  • - Adults and children in Income Support families
  • - Adults and children in income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance families
  • - Adults and children in income-based Employment and Support Allowance families
  • - Adults and children in Pension Credit (Guarantee) families
  • - Adults and children in Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit families not already counted, that is those who are not in receipt of Income Support, income- based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit (Guarantee) and whose equivalised income (excluding housing benefit) is below 60 per cent of the median before housing costs
  • - Asylum seekers in England in receipt of subsistence support, accommodation support, or both.

In addition an Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index and an Income Deprivation Affecting Older People Index were created, respectively representing the proportion of children aged 0-15, and people aged 60 and over, living in income deprived households.

Employment Deprivation Domain

The Employment Deprivation Domain measures the proportion of the working age population in an area involuntarily excluded from the labour market. This includes people who would like to work but are unable to do so due to unemployment, sickness or disability, or caring responsibilities. A combined count of employment deprived individuals per Lower-layer Super Output Area is calculated by summing the following five non-overlapping indicators:

  • - Claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance (both contribution-based and income based), women aged 18 to 59 and men aged 18 to 64
  • - Claimants of Employment and Support Allowance, women aged 18 to 59 and men aged 18 to 64
  • - Claimants of Incapacity Benefit, women aged 18 to 59 and men aged 18 to 64
  • - Claimants of Severe Disablement Allowance, women aged 18 to 59 and men aged 18 to 64
  • - Claimants of Carer’s Allowance, women aged 18 to 59 and men aged 18 to 64.

Education, Skills and Training Deprivation Domain

The Education, Skills and Training Domain measures the lack of attainment and skills in the local population. The indicators fall into two sub-domains: one relating to children and young people and one relating to adult skills. These two sub-domains are designed to reflect the ‘flow’ and ‘stock’ of educational disadvantage within an area respectively. That is, the ‘children and young people’ sub-domain measures the attainment of qualifications and associated measures (‘flow’), while the ‘skills’ sub-domain measures the lack of qualifications in the resident working age adult population (‘stock’).

Children and Young People sub-domain

  • - Key Stage 2 attainment: The average points score of pupils taking reading, writing and mathematics Key Stage 2 exams12
  • - Key Stage 4 attainment: The average capped points score of pupils taking Key Stage 4
  • - Secondary school absence: The proportion of authorised and unauthorised absences from secondary school
  • - Staying on in education post 16: The proportion of young people not staying on in school or non-advanced education above age 16
  • - Entry to higher education: A measure of young people aged under 21 not entering higher education.

Adult Skills sub-domain is a non-overlapping count of two indicators:

  • - Adult skills: The proportion of working age adults with no or low qualifications, women aged 25 to 59 and men aged 25 to 64
  • - English language proficiency: The proportion of working age adults who cannot speak English or cannot speak English well, women aged 25 to 59 and men aged 25 to 64.

Health Deprivation and Disability Domain

The Health Deprivation and Disability Domain measures the risk of premature death and the impairment of quality of life through poor physical or mental health. The domain measures morbidity, disability and premature mortality but not aspects of behaviour or environment that may be predictive of future health deprivation.

  •  - Years of potential life lost: An age and sex standardised measure of premature death
  •  - Comparative illness and disability ratio: An age and sex standardised morbidity/disability ratio
  •  - Acute morbidity: An age and sex standardised rate of emergency admission to hospital
  •  - Mood and anxiety disorders: A composite based on the rate of adults suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, hospital episodes data, suicide mortality data and health benefits data.

Crime Domain

Crime is an important feature of deprivation that has major effects on individuals and communities. The Crime Domain measures the risk of personal and material victimisation at local level.

  •  - Violence: number of reported violent crimes (18 reported crime types) per 1000 at risk population
  •  - Burglary: number of reported burglaries (4 reported crime types) per 1000 at risk population
  •  - Theft: number of reported thefts (5 reported crime types) per 1000 at risk population
  •  - Criminal damage: number of reported crimes (8 reported crime types) per 1000 at risk population.

Barriers to Housing and Services Domain

This domain measures the physical and financial accessibility of housing and key local services. The indicators fall into two sub-domains: ‘geographical barriers’, which relate to the physical proximity of local services, and ‘wider barriers’ which includes issues relating to access to housing such as affordability.

Geographical Barriers sub-domain

  • - Road distance to a post office
  • - Road distance to a primary school
  • - Road distance to a general store or supermarket
  • - Road distance to a GP surgery.

Wider Barriers sub-domain

  • - Household overcrowding: The proportion of all households in a Lower-layer Super Output Area which are judged to have insufficient space to meet the household’s needs
  • - Homelessness: Local authority district level rate of acceptances for housing assistance under the homelessness provisions of the 1996 Housing Act, assigned to the constituent Lower-layer Super Output Areas
  • - Housing affordability: Difficulty of access to owner-occupation or the private rental market, expressed as the inability to afford to enter owner occupation or the private rental market.

Living Environment Deprivation Domain

The Living Environment Deprivation Domain measures the quality of the local environment. The indicators fall into two sub-domains. The ‘indoors’ living environment measures the quality of housing; while the ‘outdoors’ living environment contains measures of air quality and road traffic accidents.

 Indoors sub-domain

  •  - Houses without central heating: The proportion of houses that do not have central heating
  •  - Housing in poor condition: The proportion of social and private homes that fail to meet the Decent Homes standard.


Outdoors sub-domain

  •  - Air quality: A measure of air quality based on emissions rates for four pollutants
  •  - Road traffic accidents involving injury to pedestrians and cyclists: A measure of road traffic accidents involving injury to pedestrians and cyclists among the resident and workplace population.


Each individual map layer has a standard symbology in which each Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) has a colour based upon its decile classification. ‘Deciles’ are published alongside ranks within the raw data.  (Deciles are calculated by ranking the 32,844 small areas in England from most deprived to least deprived and dividing them into 10 equal groups).

What is the impact of COVID-19 on Active Places data reporting?

Active Places records are checked on an annual basis (either by the Active Places Data Validation contractor or individual facility owners and managers who have taken responsibility to self-maintain information on their own facility records).  This has traditionally provided the appropriate balance between data quality (currency, accuracy and completeness) and the effort/cost required to check over 33,000 sites at which over 135,000 facilities are located (November 2020).

However, the annual check does not provide a sufficient frequency to reflect the immediate and short term impact of the Covid-19 restrictions (such as local and national lockdowns) on facilities.  This is having a significant impact on data accuracy,  specifically to attributes such as operational status (planned, under construction, operational, temporary closed etc), access policy (free public access, pay and play, club membership etc) and opening times.

For the vast majority of Active Places records these attributes remain unchanged from pre Coivid-19 and therefore may not reflect the current status.  The exception will be where a facility is known to have permanently closed.  

Sport England are exploring options to update these attributes on a more frequent basis to reflect the impact of Covid-19.  If you are aware of any data updates, please provide them via

What is the National Statistics Socio-economic Classifications (NS-SeC) data?

The National Statistics Socio-economic Classifications (NS-SeC) is a measure of employment relations and conditions of occupations. These are central to showing the structure of socio-economic positions in modern societies and helping to explain variations in social behaviour and other social phenomena.  For more information on this dataset see .

Within Active Places Power NS-SeC of usual residents aged 16 to 74 are a series of map layers at Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) geographies. 

See Map > Map Layers > Population Data > Socio-economic (NS-SeC). 

Nine classifications (each as individual map layers) can be displayed showing the percentage of population within each classification or classification grouping.  They are: 

  • - Managerial combined (1-2)
  • - Intermediate occupations (3)
  • - Small employers and own account (4)
  • - Lower supervisory and technical (5)
  • - Intermediate, Small and Lower (3-5)
  • - Routine combined (6-7)
  • - Never worked and unemployed (8)
  • - Routine and not working  (6-8)
  • - Not classified (9)

Each individual map layer has a standard symbology showing the percentage of population within the classification (one or more) divided by total population. 10% intervals up to 100% (deciles) are used. 

What is the Site Details Comments tab used for?

Note, Comments function is currently restricted to Sport England users only.

The Comments tab is used to view and submit local intelligence information relevant to either a site as a whole (if it is relevant to all facilities at that site) or for individual facilities located at the site. 

Local intelligence information will be used to help Sport England and its partners track trends and inform related strategic planning work. 

Note, Sport England will endeavour to moderate comments, where necessary editing or deleting any comment at any time should it be deemed inappropriate or unrelated to the purpose of this function. 

It should also be noted that submitted comments may need to be disclosed by Sport England in accordance with the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000. 

To provide knowledge of any edits to site and facility attribute details (i.e. the size dimensions of a sports hall) please use the “feedback” links located in the top right corner of the Site Details pages.  

Which facility types are included within active places?

Active Places currently holds the following Facility types:

  • • Artificial Grass Pitch
  • • Athletics Tracks
  • • Cycling
  • • Golf
  • • Grass Pitches
  • • Health & Fitness Suite
  • • Ice Rinks
  • • Indoor Bowls
  • • Indoor Tennis Centre
  • • Outdoor Tennis Courts
  • • Ski Slopes
  • • Sports Hall
  • • Squash Courts
  • • Studios
  • • Swimming Pool

These facilities represent where 70-80% of formal sport takes place and they also tend to be large land users.

A data collection schedule has been developed to expand the number of new facility types held within Active Places. These will be added to the live database and website once collected to the required standards.

Which small area geographies are used within Active Places Power?

Active Places Power uses small area geographies designed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales. They are known as Super Output Areas (SOAs) and were developed as an alternative to Wards for calculating small area statistics. Unlike Wards and Postcode geographies, all SOA represent a similar number of people allowing for comparability across smaller geographic areas. The SOA layers form a hierarchy based on aggregations of Output Areas (OAs).

The relationship of OA and SOA during the 2011 census was as follows:


Population: 100 to 625

Average Population: 309

Households: 40 to 250

Number of records (England): 171,372

Lower SOAs

Population: 1,000 to 3,000

Average Population: 1,500

Households: 400 to 1,200

Number of records (England): 32,844

Middle SOA

Population: 5,000 to 15,000

Average Population: 7,500

Households: 2,000 to 6,000

Number of records (England): 6,791

Who collects and maintains Active Places data?

Adetiq are contracted by Sport England to collect, validate and maintain sport facility data within the Active Places database. Adetiq replaced The Leisure Database Company on 2nd November 2015.  

In addition, individual sport facility owners and managers are able to maintain information in real time on their facilities via the self-service Active Places Data Platform.  

Adetiq will continue to update records on a rolling basis primarily through telephone survey with each site being checked on an annual basis. Data is also updated through feedback from users and through an “intelligent audit” e.g. monitoring of planning permissions, trade press etc. 

Should you want to provide detailed feedback or update a lot of information for your area of interest (for example, for a local sport and recreation strategy) please Adetiq on 01273 202212 or   

Why are clubs no longer included within Active Places?

Club data is no longer included with Active Places having been removed in October 2017.  Prior to this club data within Active Places Power was a beta function.  It was a snapshot sample of data that had been included to demonstrate how club data may be used within the websites tools. However, as there are no plans to update and expand club data within Active Places Power the decision was taken to remove it.

Why can I not find a facility that I know should be there?

This could be for a number of reasons:

• Maybe it is there. To find a single facility use the Search function to search by the name of the site or locality (Post Town, Postcode - full or partial, or Local Authority).

• It could be because your definition of a facility differs to ours. Review the Sports Data Model which defines the database structure, fields and contents.

If these steps indicate that the facility should be added to the database please contact Adetiq, our contracted Data Validation Team on 01273 202212 or   

Category: Mapping

From whom is the Aerial Photography imagery sourced and how current is it?

The aerial photography used within the Active Places Power website is supplied via the Aerial Photography for Great Britain (APGB) contract; a pan-government agreement, managed by the Geospatial Commission.

Aerial photography is captured, processed and delivered by a consortium which includes Bluesky International Ltd, Getmapping Plc and Airbus.

Aerial photography, included within Active Places Power, is captured at a spatial resolution of 25cm. Photography will, in most regions, have been captured within the last 3-years although some variation is possible due to multiple factors including the weather and air-traffic restrictions.

To access the aerial photography when using the interactive maps, go to Map Tools tab > Map Layers > Basemaps and Aerial Photography.

What contextual base map data is being used within the Active Places Power map component?

The Active Places Power interactive mapping component displays several different Ordnance Survey datasets, which are styled and set to display at different zoom levels.

Datasets range from broad-scale location maps (for example, Miniscale) to highly detailed contextual mapping (for example, Vector Map Local and OS MasterMap).

All datasets are owned and maintained by Ordnance Survey © Crown copyright and database rights 2023. OS 100033111.

The data are supplied to Active Places Power via a series of Esri UK hosted web services . These services are updated on a quarterly basis.

Uses can choose between the following basemap styles.


Greyscale map with no labels, provides a minimal level of contextual detail. Does not display at scales of 1:2,500 or 1:1,250

(References: OS_Open_Greyscale)


An uncluttered and clean map consistent between all viewing scales. Does not display at scales of 1:2,500 or 1:1,250

(References: OS_Open_Background)

What do the map marker balloons / clusters represent?

Active Places Power displays point based data for sport facility locations on the interactive map using balloon shaped map markers.  

To display map markers either run a search or report and swtich to the map tab to view results via a map interface.  Alternatively run a Map Search.  For all map interfaces the Map Tools tab (displayed on the left side of the map) has two sections.  Use Map Search to navigate the map or Map Layers to add and remove map data layers including, individual faciliity types.  

Due to the potential to represent a large number of facilities geographically on a map, a visual representation technique known as clustering is used. 

Clustering reduces the number of map markers displayed on the map by grouping those in close proximity to each other in an aggregate form.  Each map marker cluster contains a summary count of the number of facilities set to display.  

Clustered map marker balloons have four sizes:

• Small – no count represents a single count

• Small – with count represents between 2 to 9

• Medium – with count represent between 10 to 99

• Large – with count represents between 100 to 999

Zooming in to a more detailed large scale map will result in the dispersion of markers into individual marker locations.  The opposite is also true that zooming out to a small scale map will result in markers grouping together.  

Map markers that continue to display a count value at large map scales will represent sites with more than 2 facilities.  

It should be noted that a cluster map marker is generally located at the geographic centre for those dispersed individual locations grouped within the cluster. 

Only when the cluster represents a collection of facilities at a single site or the cluster representation is turned off will the map markers represent the exact geographic location of a site with multiple facilities.  

Why have the Active Places Basemaps changed?

From the 7th of December 2023, due to a change in licensing, the Traditional and Detailed basemaps will no longer be available within Active Places mapping. Users will continue to have access to the Simple and Grey basemap options.

Which maps are available and how do I select the different alternatives?

It is not possible to change the basemap in all the maps. Where the option is available, the different basemaps are accessed from the basemap menu. Click Grey/Simple to change the basemap shown.

Note: The basemap menu is closed by clicking on the word “Basemaps”.

Basemap menu:

It is possible to change the transparency of the basemap and swap to aerial photography in the Map Layers control.

Map Layers control:

Both the Simple and Greyscale maps are based on the Ordnance Survey Vector Map District products, for small and mid-scales, and Open Map Local for larger scales.

Why is my map empty?

The new basemap options are not available over the same range of zoom scales, consequently, when searching for a town, postcode or site, the map may appear white (image below).

This is resolved by zooming out using the scale slider (highlighted in red circle) or mouse-roller.

Blank Basemap:ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤResolution by zooming out:


This scale and drawing issue will be resolved in January 2024.

The new mapping doesn’t include the detail I need, what should I do?

The Simple and Greyscale basemaps do not include the detail previously supplied by the Traditional and Detailed options. This will have minimal impact on most use cases.

If you do require additional detail, for example, to locate a building or entrance, it is suggested that you select the aerial photography layer. Detailed features are typically more evident in the aerial photography.

Basemap versus Aerial Photography:


If you do require additional support in locating a site/facility, you can also contact the Active Places team on

When will the detailed maps be restored?

Detailed mapping will become available in the new Active Places solutions. These solutions are currently being developed and will be released in 2024.

Category: Redevelopment

Why is Active Places Power being redeveloped and how will it impact me?

1. Why?

Active Places is being redeveloped on modern technologies to ensure the system can support growing demand for a wider range of data types and reporting tools. Moving to new technologies will improve your user journey with data discovery and analysis supported by a modern mapping interface. Establishing the ecosystem on these technologies will also provide the foundation from which we can continue to build and enhance the data and tools provided by Active Places Power.

2. When?

The redevelopment will commence in April 2023

3. Will data quality be impacted?


Sport England, Site Owners and the Data Validation Team (Adetiq) will be able to update/audit, add and/or close sites and facilities at ALL TIMES during the redevelopment. At no point will redevelopment activities impact our ability to maintain data to current standards.

4. Will the data model change?


There will be no changes to the data model because of the redevelopment. We may however release planned new facility types or facility specifics.

5. Will I be able to access the Active Places data through the redevelopment?


The Active Places data will be accessible at ALL TIMES during the redevelopment. 

6. Will I lose access to the reporting and mapping tools on Active Places Power?

In the long-term, no. While the new Active Places Power will have a different look and feel, all existing functionality will be replicated and, in many instances, enhanced.

While we are redeveloping Active Places Power, it may be necessary to take some reporting tools offline for short periods. Where tools are taken offline, we will provide alternative options to ensure we can support you in your business-as-usual processes.

We anticipate being able to share more detail in February on how users will access Active Places data and tools during the redevelopment.

7. Where can I find out more?

Over the next month, we will be establishing a dedicated page to update users on the redevelopment project. We will also send regular e-mails and notifications to ensure users are kept informed on the project and progress.

8. What it I want to be more involved in the redevelopment?

The Active Places redevelopment will be inclusive. In addition to regularly sharing information, we will seek to include users in the development process. If you would be interested in joining our stakeholder groups, please contact the Active Places Team (

9. I still have a question regarding the redevelopment?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Active Places Team (

Category: SDM

What are hybrid grass pitches?

Hybrid grass pitches are natural grass pitches that are reinforced with synthetic turf to allow the natural grass to grow and reduce wear and tear of the pitch. 

What are the differences between small AGP facilities and full size AGP facilities?

It is important to understand the differences between contrasting Artificial Grass Pitches (AGPs). The subtype descriptions are:

  • Long Pile Carpet - A longer pile artificial grass carpet, often referred to as a ‘third generation’ or ‘3G’ pitch. Most pitches have a rubber crumb and sand infill within the pile, some may have organic infills such as cork or timber pellets. Rarely, there will be no infill. Used predominantly for football but can be used for other sports such as rugby. Pile length is typically 55-60mm for football and 60-65mm for rugby however, some carpets can be as short as 40mm.
  • Sand Dressed - This has sand base rather than sand infilling. A sand dressed pitch has a heavier amount of fibres which are more exposed, giving it a greener appearance. This is the preferred surface for club hockey.
  • Sand Filled - 20-25mm tufted carpet covered filled with graded sand laid over a rubber shock pad and engineering base. Most common surface for STP's, used in particular for hockey & football, but can be used by other activities, such as American Football, Lacrosse, and training for Rugby and Athletics.
  • Water Based - Similar pile to sand based, very dense synthetic sports surfaces that are irrigated with water. Combined with some form of underlay/shock-pad, sometimes integral. The carpets or the pad are typically designed to hold up the water flow at a specific rate. This is the preferred surface for Hockey and is used for first class games.

The facility type specifics will detail dimensions of the facility and a pitch count.

A full size AGP will be marked out for adult football (11 a side football match) and will have dimensions typically around 100x60m, with a minimum size of  88x53m. Full size AGPs will only have a pitch count of one even if small pitches are overmaked. See screenshot below;


A small size AGP will be solely used for smaller sided matches. There will be multiple dedicated pitches therefore the pitch count for that facility will be greater than one. The screenshot below shows an example of a site that would have the ‘small AGP’ flag ticked, with the pitch count showing as six and the dimensions relating to what one pitch measures. In this instance 35x15m.


If a site has separate artificial grass pitch sizes within one structure, they will be referenced as different facilities as the sizes are different. For example, a site may have multiple ‘5 a side’ pitches, but then have a ‘9 a side’ pitch or ‘full sized’ pitch alongside. This would class as two separate facilities. The below facility would be logged as two artificial long pile (rubber crumb fill) facilities, one with a pitch count of four, and the other with a pitch count of one. The dimensions would then display the common dimensions of each pitch type.


The pitch count within a facility will not include those from a facility that is at a different location on the site. The example below shows a site that has multiple AGP facilities and pitches. Even though there are multiple long pile carpet pitches, there should be three different AGP facilities registered on site (one sand filled and two rubber crumb filled). Again, the rubber crumb filled pitches in this instance will be referenced as having a pitch count of six on one facility, and four on the other, including the common dimensions of each pitch, and not the whole size of the facility.


What are the facility Access Type definitions?

Access Types are defined as:

AccessibilityID 1 - Free Public Access - There is no charge to use the facility

AccessibilityID 2 - Pay and Play - The main means of public access to the facility is on payment of a charge.  The facility may also have a membership scheme, and it may be possible to block book the facility for a specific activity or for lessons, but during the public opening hours anyone can just turn up, pay and play.

For example, local authority swimming pool or health and fitness facility, where the casual user pays per session, although there is also a membership scheme.

AccessibilityID 3 - Sports Club/Community Association use - The main means of public access to the facility is via sports clubs or community associations, which book it for use by their members.  Membership of the club or association is based on a particular sport or community group, and is not based on performance criteria or on a particular facility.  The club or association may use several different facilities.

For example: Access to indoor bowls greens is through a bowls club, or to athletics tracks through an athletics club.  School swimming pool that can be used by a swimming or sub-aqua club, but cannot be used by the general public.

AccessibilityID 4 - Registered Membership use - The main public access to the facility is by membership.  Members usually pay a joining fee as well as a monthly or annual subscription.  Membership is controlled by the owner or manager of the facility.

For example: Fitness First health and fitness facility can only be used by registered members.

AccessibilityID 5 - Private use - The facility cannot be used by the public, either on a pay and play basis or through a recreational club, except when playing against the owner of the site.  It may be available for use by elite clubs or development squads.   

For example: School grass pitches that are only available for the school teams and the teams they are playing against.  University, prison, MOD etc facilities that are not available for public use.

AccessibilityID 6 - Not Known

Access Types are grouped into the following categories:

  • Public Access (AccessibilityID 1 to 4)
  • Private (AccessibilityID 5 only)
  • Not Known (AccessibilityID 6 and NULL)

What are the facility Management Type definitions?

Generally there is one management type for each site.  Sometimes there may be more than one (e.g. outdoor facilities are managed by the LEA but indoor facilities are handled by a private contractor).  

    Management Types are defined as:  

    MgmtTypeID 1 - School/College/University (in house) - Managed by the school/college themselves.  Community access to these facilities are often limited to fit around curriculum/University use.

    MgmtTypeID 2 - Local Authority (in house) - Managed by Local Authority using their own staff. 

    MgmtTypeID 3 - Private Contractor (PPP/PFI) - Facility managed by a private contractor as part of the Public Private Partnership / Private Finance Initiative. PPP/PFI  is a partnership between the public and private sector for the purpose of delivering a project or service traditionally provided by the public sector.  This is an arrangement whereby the public sector pays the contractor to build and run a facility for a set period (25 years), after which the facility is handed back to the public sector.  This arrangement is increasingly common with the development of new schools and some Local Authority Leisure Provision.

    MgmtTypeID 4 – Trust - Charitable Trust set up to run sports facilities.  A number of Local Authorities have set up Leisure Trusts to run their leisure centres.  These Trusts benefit from charitable status and work outside the Local Authority structure.  The Local Authority remains the owner of the facility.

    MgmtTypeID 5 - Sport Club - Where the facility is managed by a sports club.

    MgmtTypeID 6 - Commercial Management - Where the facility is managed by a commercial company, such as commercial health clubs.  There are also Local Authority Facilities which have been contracted in to manage Local Authority Leisure Centres. 

    MgmtTypeID 7 - CSSC - Civil Service Sports Council provides sports facilities for employees in Government departments and agencies, the Post Office, BT and many other public bodies and in many companies carrying out ex-civil service work. The CSSC is the largest corporate provider of sport and leisure in the UK and have a network of sports facilities across the country.

    MgmtTypeID 8 - Community Organisation - Facilities that are managed and run by Community Organisations, such as community associations and user groups. 

    MgmtTypeID 9 - Industry Sports Club - Facilities which are managed by an Industrial/Commercial Company for the benefit and use by its staff.  Use of these facilities are often limited to family members of employees.