Par Sports and Leisure Park
April 2016 to present
Par Sports and Leisure Park are an informal group of local people who, alarmed at the suggestion that Par running track and the associated sporting facilities might be sold off for development, have reached an agreement with Cornwall Council to take it over on a 125-year lease, and run it for the benefit of the community as a sports and recreational facility.
The facility is enjoyed by the local community for everything from football and athletics through to dog walking and picnics – and by the wider Cornwall community given that it is one of only two running tracks in the Duchy. Our intention is to work with the community not only to maintain, but also to enhance the facilities on offer.
They are still considering exactly what legal form their group should take – though at present they are thinking in terms of becoming a Community Benefit Society (because of the opportunity it provides for community involvement, both in terms of the direction of the project and its funding).
“No matter how committed, a group of local individuals faced with a project of this scale and complexity would not on their own have been able to sustain the effort required. It would have run into the sand. RIO’s support and expertise have enabled us to reach a point where we now not only have the agreement of Cornwall Council to hand the facilities to us, but also a much clearer idea of how we can develop a sustainable project that will meet as many as possible of the aspirations of our community. We hope that they will be able to continue working with us until we are further along the road to the success that they have made possible.”
RIO have been invaluable in providing support of all sorts. Their assistance with the preparation of their proposals for the takeover of the facility were essential in convincing Cornwall Council that these were sound. And RIO’s ability to provide reassurance of support was quite possibly a deciding factor in Cornwall Council’s consideration of whether to opt for what is a relatively novel approach over the more conventional one that they are taking with the rest of their leisure facilities. RIO continue to provide assistance in terms of helping Par Sports and Leisure Park reach a conclusion about their legal form – and hope RIO will be able also to assist in identifying sources of funding etc for the early parts of their project.
RIO consultant who worked with Par Sports and Leisure Park: