NEWS RELEASE: New commission takes KKP to playing pitch century

Issue date: 11 February 2020

New commission takes KKP to playing pitch century
100 playing pitch strategies since new Sport England guidance

Knight, Kavanagh and Page (KKP) reached its playing pitch strategy (PPS) century with the recent commission from Halton Borough Council. This will be the 100th PPS that KKP has undertaken since publication of the Sport England PPS Guidance in mid-2013.

Playing pitch strategies are commissioned to ensure that funding is invested effectively, reaching the right pitches in the right places. Sport England recommends that all local authorities have an up-to-date PPS in order to meet the recreational, sporting and physical activity needs of local communities. They now also underpin the FA’s Local Football Facilities Plan for each local authority in England.

Claire Fallon, KKP director and principal consultant who leads KKP’s work in this discipline, commented: “Our 100th PPS commission since the Sport England guidance is a significant milestone, both for KKP as an organisation and for the concept of a proper planning process for playing pitches, which are fundamental to sport at all levels and in all areas of the country.”

Claire continued: “The number of PPS commissions KKP receives is testament to the hard work that our team puts in, gathering the most robust data possible, getting out to speak to users and seeing the facilities for themselves. Our team makes it their responsibility to visit every site and talk to anyone and everyone who might be a user or stakeholder. They take great pride in getting their boots muddy in the line of duty.”

KKP’s approach to preparing a PPS emphasises the importance of site visits, a detailed inter-personal consultation process, and the compilation of comprehensive reliable data. Site visits enable the KKP team not only to log every facility but also to assess the scale, quality and accessibility of each pitch, along with the opportunities it might represent. The consultation process involves numerous face-to-face and telephone interviews, ensuring the full engagement of all stakeholders, while the company’s geographic information systems (GIS) team provides a huge resource, mapping demographic and participation data, and evaluating the impact of population increases and housing development to underpin the process.

KKP chief executive John Eady commented: “This is our 100th PPS since the Sport England guidance was published but KKP has been delivering them since 2002, so we have actually done a great many more. Our track record was the reason for KKP’s selection to the 2010 PPS consultants framework and also what prompted Sport England to commission KKP to draft the PPS guidance on its behalf. This was published in 2013 and we were pleased to be able to make our knowledge and experience available to such a wide audience.”

Eady continued: “KKP’s reputation and client base in this field has grown rapidly, primarily because we commit ourselves to the highest standards and the quality of our work is founded on the most detailed evidence base in the sector. This approach means hard work but our insistence on working this way is based on the fact that face-to-face consultation unearths realistic, robust issues and better identifies demand. Our success in this field suggests that clients recognise and value our commitment to high standards and high-quality outcomes.”

Notes for editors

• Further details of KKP’s work on playing pitch strategies and in all aspects of the fields of sport, leisure and planning are available via the KKP website at www.kkp.co.uk
• Claire Fallon and John Eady are available for interview. Please contact KKP via 0161 764 7040 or email mail@kkp.co.uk
• The Sport England document Playing Pitch Strategy Guidance: An Approach to Developing and Delivering a Playing Pitch Strategy is available via the Sport England website at: www.sportengland.org/facilities-and-planning 
• The KKP post-project completion survey undertaken with all clients between 2014-2019 showed that more than 97% of clients would recommend KKP to others and more than 93% were prepared to be referees.

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