10. Recreation and Young People

10.1 Consultation Results

The current sporting facilities in Silverdale are much appreciated and enjoyed: cricket, golf lessons for young people, snooker, bowls, horse-riding and swimming were all mentioned. However there is a clear call for more and better sports facilities for the whole community. Suggestions focus around the provision of an all-weather, multi-use pitch, which would enable tennis, badminton, football, basketball, netball, skateboarding and bowling. Some people would like to see the Institute field fully utilised for all ages with publicity informing residents what is going on there, others would like a purpose built sports building or pitch.

Young people really benefit from the parent and volunteer led youth club every Wednesday night, which received praise from both parents and children. Young people also enjoy junior cricket coaching, and the occasional chance to swim at Holgates. However many young people still experience boredom and frustration at the lack of things to do. Many asked for enhanced sporting facilities such as somewhere to play football and skateboard. Others commented that there is nowhere for them to go, but they get in trouble for playing out in the street. The opportunity to use the youth club more frequently (if it opened more) or have somewhere they could hang out with their friends would be greatly appreciated.

Poor transport facilities compound the difficulties, as they prevent young people from easily using other sports facilities, visiting friends, or going out for an evening. To engage young people more, a few people asked for the appointment of a youth worker, who could be split between surrounding villages and also for a youth ‘bus’ which could take young people out for the evening. Other suggestions included: somewhere permanent for young people to spend time; more parties, activities and a park.

10.2 Action Group Report

The Action Group for sport and recreation had already been established as a formal Committee reporting to the Parish Council. The Committee communicated with various organisations, as well as carrying out its own questionnaire survey of residents to supplement the Parish Plan consultation. It became clear that the development of sports facilities, particularly if they are to be floodlit, is a sensitive topic.

For any new development to receive funding from major sources, a number of conditions have to apply:

  1. Ownership of the land must be guaranteed.
  2. Planning permission must be agreed.
  3. Residents need to be consulted.
  4. Funding is more likely to be available to bodies with charitable status.

Many of the sites under consideration are held in trust and already have Committees of Management with charitable status. For example the Children’s Playground on Cove Road is available as ‘a children’s playing field or recreation ground’. Similarly, the Institute building and field was established in 1908 ‘for the provision and maintenance of a village hall for use by the inhabitants of Silverdale for meetings, classes, recreation and leisure time occupations’. If these sites are to be developed, it will be necessary to work closely with their trustees and Committees of Management.

The consultation process and the Committee’s questionnaire analysis demonstrated a demand for tennis facilities. The construction of two tennis courts, and the formation of a tennis club, is suggested either on the Children’s Playground site on Cove Road or on the Institute field.  The latter would provide a flatter site and would enable fuller use to be made of the institute building, while the former would have the advantage of possible sharing of facilities with the Bowling club.

These could include a new car parking facility to serve both the Tennis and Bowling Clubs and relieve the congestion created by cars parking on Cove Road.  The possibility of shared use of clubhouse and refreshment facilities with the Silverdale Bowling Club could also be explored. A key factor would whether or not sufficient land would still be available for children’s recreation and playground activities.

There appears to be little current demand for a full scale football pitch, but such a facility may be needed in the longer term.  In that event, the National Trust field next to the cricket field may well be an appropriate site and, subject to agreement by the parties involved, there could be shared use of the new cricket pavilion to the advantage of both sports, providing year round usage.

The Committee recognises the need to remain flexible at this early stage. If certain locations prove over a period of time impossible to develop, alternative sites must be considered. Substantial funding will be necessary to achieve the implementation of the projects proposed.

10.3 Sports Club Plans

Because this plan is intended in part to support any proposals from local organisations to develop their facilities, four key institutions with their own facilities in the village were written to ascertain whether they had proposals that needed to be highlighted here. While the Institute and the Gaskell Hall had no specific major investment plans, other than those that might come forward from the parish plan process, the Cricket Club and Bowling Club both responded with details of projects they would like to pursue as and when funds are available.

10.3.1 Silverdale Bowling Club

The club has recently, with the aid of a grant from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, completed the re-building and enlargement of their main pavilion, incorporating facilities for the disabled. However there are several other projects that still the club wish to pursue. These are:

  • A permanent extension to the other pavilion to replace timber sheds used to store valuable equipment.
  • Maintenance equipment
  • A car park in the adjacent playing field, near to the road, in order to reduce annoyance to adjoining residents and avoid restricting the road width.

Repair to the boundary walls, especially on the road frontage.
Ground level floodlights to extend the playing season while minimising impact.

The proposal for a car-park has already been considered up by the Sport and Recreation Development Committee in connection with a possible future tennis club, but, if this is considered a high priority for the land involved, it may be able to proceed regardless of whether the tennis proposal goes forward on this site The new items of maintenance equipment, and the pavilion extension to house them, could be of benefit not just to the club, but could potentially be made available to help keep the playing field tidy, while the repair of the wall will also make the playing field area more attractive and safer for wider use. It may be, subject to further discussion that the pavilion extension could go ahead as part of a proposal for shared use with the possible tennis club. The floodlights would be of benefit in terms of maximising the use of existing facilities but the Parish Council would need to be satisfied that they  could designed and controlled so as to reduce their impact on residential amenity to an acceptable minimum. The actions in 10.4 therefore incorporate elements of these plans as appropriate.

10.3.2  Silverdale Cricket Club

The cricket club have also recently erected a new pavilion, due to be fitted out this year and funded in the end without Sport England. Their further plans are limited and to a large extent dependent on the success of the two teams and on the ability to persuade the National Trust, their landlords, of any future needs. The two areas of development are:

  • Start up equipment for new ladies and junior teams.
  • Possible future use of the land adjacent to the cricket field for a football pitch, sharing the new pavilion. This would need National Trust approval.

The proposed new sites are in accordance with the plan’s aims of maximising use of existing facilities, while the football pitch idea has emerged from the work done by the Sport and Recreation Development Committee.

10.4 Action

10.4.1 Short Term

Maximise Use of Existing Facilities

  1. Established clubs and associations to organise junior sections and ‘come-and-try it’ sessions for children and young people; also women’s cricket.
  2. Organise coaching sessions, with the support of the Lancaster City Council Sport and Recreation Department, in a variety of activities on existing recreation areas. This would be particularly useful during school holidays.
  3. Explore special rates for local residents at Holgates Caravan Park leisure facilities, particularly at off-peak times.
  4. Parish Council to consider the issue of ground  level lighting at the Bowling Club and repair of the wall by the Club.

10.4.2  Medium Term

Tennis Courts

  1. Develop proposals for the construction of two tennis courts, and the formation of a tennis club, either on the Children’s Playground site on Cove Road or at the Institute on Spring Bank.
  2. Develop proposals for a new car parking facility to serve and existing bowling club and the proposed tennis club, if this site is chosen.
  3. Explore the possibility of shared use of clubhouse and refreshment facilities with the Silverdale Bowling Club (if this site is chosen).


  1. Investigate joint use of new maintenance equipment and storage facilities between tennis club, playground and bowling club and fund accordingly.

10.4.3  Long Term

Football Pitch

  1. Develop proposals for a football pitch on the National Trust field next to the cricket field.
  2. Explore the possibility of shared use of the new cricket pavilion to the advantage of both sports, providing year round usage