Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee

Agenda Item


Subject:                    Elite and Community Use Sports Arena, Brighton and Hove


Date of meeting:    19 January 2022


Report of:                 Executive Director for Governance, People & Resources


Contact Officer:      Name: Mark Wall

                                    Tel: 01273 291006



Ward(s) affected:   All



1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         To receive the following deputation which was presented at and referred from the public engagement meeting held on the 16 December 2021.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That the Committee responds to the deputation either by noting it or where it is considered more appropriate, calls for an officer report on the matter which may give consideration to a range of options and writes to the deputation spokesperson setting out the committee’s decision(s).


3.            Context and background information


3.1         To receive the following deputation along with the extract from the public engagement meeting which is detailed in appendix 1:


(4)   Deputation: Elite and Community Use Sports Arena, Brighton & Hove.

Spokesperson Ricky Perrin


We aim to provide the community of Brighton and Hove with a sport and leisure arena in the city that can:

     Provide a home court for topflight British Basketball in Brighton & Hove.

     Organise, promote and develop various indoor sports leagues to maximise sport participation, with a centre that opens 363 days a year, from 7am-11pm, and to offer residents access to it at an affordable cost.

     Sponsor and support a range of sports and community events each year.

     Provide a regional development facility for basketball with the capacity to stage high profile under-age Internationals, regional events, and Basketball England finals.

     Provide a base for Bears Basketball elite programme for boys & girls, men & women, currently scattered across a multitude of sites across Sussex.

     Provide a centre for the Sussex Bears wheelchair basketball and aid their increased participation, talent development and games for disabled participants.


According to Sport England’s report in 2019, Basketball is the second biggest team sport after football in the UK - ahead of rugby. 58% of basketball adult players are from BAME backgrounds, the most for any major sport. Basketball has also seen an increase of 15% in participation in 2019 amongst young people and enjoys considerable participation in our existing facilities – both indoor and outdoor.

The arena will enable additional access and opportunities of a major team sport, with all the positive modeling of a team environment, to more of the cities schools. Further provision wil allow us to expand our existing partnerships with schools, universities, and colleges: community groups, disability groups, crime prevention and minority groups – basketball reaches parts of the community that other sports do not reach!

Brighton is in dire need of modern sports facilities. In July 2021 the Councils “Sports facilities Investment Plan” report showed that they needed investment and improvement, In the Councils July   P&R committee meeting we invited the council to visit basketball community facilities built in other regions of the UK and are operated without any financial input from the local council.

In October 2021, 2 councilors from this city came to Leicester to witness comparable indoor sports facilities. The Morningside Arena operates with 75% community use. They are classed as education facilities, as well  as multi sport venues that can host a range of national and international indoor sporting events, from national qualifiers to world championships.

By providing indoor, affordable sport and leisure facilities in Brighton and Hove we serve the objective of the city in promoting health and fitness to our residents. We create a venue that can encourage our residents to aspire to elite sports – British Basketball for men and women, Super League Netball – alongside a hub for community and disability sports to be used by schools, universities and community groups.

We request the Council asks the TECC committee to identify and report on suitable sites within the City that could provide for leisure development of an arena with a seating capacity IRO 4,000.



Supporting information Item 4 (4)


BBL Basketball is a buy in franchise – no relegation like football Premier League

BBL Basketball comes with huge number of community benefits (mirrors the Premier League KICKS program in Football)

Wheelchair basketball biggest entry to most Paralympic Athletes.


Support already given by 4 x NGBs: British Basketball League, Basketball England, British Wheelchair Basketball, England Netball.


CEO of Leicester Riders Foundation Kevin Routledge MBE has supported us throughout the process and Kevin is working with several other councils to help copy the community based business model he has in Leicester.


Coast to Capital the LEP has met with the Bears and are aware of the commercial, employment, and financial impact this project can have to the city of Brighton and Hove.


Brighton Chamber of Commerce has also been consulted on the benefits to Brighton and Hove this community sports facility will offer.


One of these facilities with the exact dimensions of Newcastle Eagles community Arena would fit on Black Rock once the enabling works is finished.


There is a 13 month build time for this community sports facility.


Employment / Apprenticeships – in addition to jobs of the build and running of the facility, the long term athletes as we do not currently a Bears BBL  / WBBL teams even more jobs would be created above the business plans of Leicester Riders or Newcastle Eagles as those teams were already running when they built those facilities, then we add in the “Bears in the Community” program that takes basketball into schools and the community (in the same way that Albion in the Community do with BAHFC) currently Albion in the Community have 155 employees and a turnover of £3mil delivering £28 million of social impact.


Links to NHS, medical rehabilitation, universities, schools have already been part of the Bears over the last 4 years as the Bears are run as a social enterprise.



Notes from Leicester Facility Visit– from Cllr Martin Osborne


125 year lease, Rent £40k p.a. to the council No other subsidies from the council



Sport England £1.25m … Newcastle also claimed this so precedent for Brighton.

LEP £1m (job creation formula about this- how many staff? 12 full time staff, 20-30 part time)

College £0.5m … for access to courts during the day

Scavenged other costs from deals with sponsors in return for free services etc.

Naming rights?

Overall build cost? £4.6m (80% less than Sport England’s consultant said- or is that 80% of original anticipated cost?)

Decontamination costs £880k- lot less than anticipated- how far do you go? You can never decontaminate fully and further you go more expensive it gets …



Opened in Jan 2016  

70-80% community sports 7am to 11pm everyday (costs them, the charity, £0.25m)- FE college directly opposite.

They have created a sustainable market for events- how many per year? Webber Cup, Open snooker, boxing, darts etc. 70-100 events- all at weekend. Also have regular Bollywood events on Sunday’s, large Indian community and Golden Mile nearby.  Exhibitions can be hosted in the main hall.

Accessible by public transport, most travel by this. Electric bike scheme to come to support this further.

Licensing arrangement until late 3am- no residents close by

Charity foundation runs the venue- £0.5m turnover



3 enlarged courts 240m2

Extended netball court- flexible painting and markings for many sports.

4 sided seating- main stands just under 1000, with smaller stands either side.

Capacity? Max 3000 (dictated by fire regs) flexible seating units, all cushioned, 1m apart so spacious.

Bar space balconies to overlook venue above storage space, closed during covid but normally used by sponsors.

Plans to extend out with several more courts so can continue sports whilst hosting events

LED lighting- enough for super slow motion TV

Ventilation- basic slots in side and fans attached to lower costs.

Solar scheme on roof- £16k income per year via grid.

Two big screens either side which enables them to do the Bollywood events and show big adverts/videos etc.

Marquee at the side set up during covid to increase space, entry point, selling alcohol/drinks

Hallway on entrance side

4 changing rooms , A disabled changing rooms

Above hallway on first floor, one long meeting rooms with sliding doors to divide into smaller rooms, kitchen at one end, bar at other.

Fitness suite at end used by players, college students etc.

Street art on back



7 8 and 9- lowest socio-economic background on SE ratings play basketball

DCMS 11-15 year olds play basketball (2nd after football)


Spectator sports … mainly not competing with pop concerts although happy to facilitate events if other venues can’t!

BBL? K2 in Crawley- 1500 seats minimum, Netball super league- play at BACA. Nearest one Guildford, Wheelchair rugby, Karate/martial arts, Boxing, Snooker/pool, Darts, 10 pin bowling, Street dance, Extreme rock climbing



Supported by:

1.  Harriet Cavanagh                                       2. Dean Coussens

3.  Tom Goodridge                                           4. Phillipa Hodge

5.  Melanie Stewart


Ward affected: All

Brighton & Hove City Council

Public Engagement Meeting


4.30pm 16 December 2021





Present:    Councillor Robins (Chair), Allcock, Appich, Atkinson, Bagaeen, Barnett, Brennan, Brown, Childs, Clare, Davis, Deane, Druitt, Evans, Gibson, Hamilton, Heley, Hills, Janio, John, Knight, Mac Cafferty, McNair, Meadows, Mears, Nemeth, Nield, Osborne, Peltzer Dunn, Pissaridou, Powell, O'Quinn,  Shanks, Simson, C Theobald, Wilkinson and Williams.



4.            DEPUTATIONS


4.1         The Mayor reported that four deputations had been received from members of the public and that he would invite the spokesperson to introduce their deputation and then the relevant Chair to respond. He noted that 15 minutes were set aside for the consideration of deputations.


4.14      The Mayor invited Ricky Perrin as the spokesperson for the deputation to join and address the meeting; noting that the deputation related to the provision of an elite and community use sports arena in the city.


4.15      Ricky Perrin spoke on the deputation relating to the provision of a community use sports arena in the city.


4.16      Councillor Osborne thanked Mr Perrin for presenting the deputation and noted that he met with Mr Perrin virtually some time back now to hear about your plans, and about the Bears, of which we are wholeheartedly supportive. He and Councillor Platts had had the opportunity to visit The Morningside Arena in Leicester to see their indoor sports facilities. In order to provide a new strategic vision for sports facilities in the City, the council appointed leisure consultants to undertake comprehensive condition surveys of each facility, a review of the indoor sports facilities’ portfolio, and options for their future management. This included the drafting of a Sports Facilities Investment Plan 2021 – 2031, which identified that the public sports centres and swimming pools were indeed showing their age, and a strategic investment plan was required to transform the future leisure provision. The planning and implementation phase of the Sports Facilities Investment Plan is progressing and will be considered through the TECC Committee.  He and officers were happy to continue with conversations with you and would like to meet with the club to explore the potential opportunities to work together on the provision of improved sports facilities in the City.


4.17      The Mayor thanked Mr Perrin for joining the meeting and speaking on behalf of the deputation. He explained that the points had been noted and the deputation would be referred to the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee for consideration. The persons forming the deputation would be invited to attend the meeting and would be informed subsequently of any action to be taken or proposed in relation to the matter set out in the deputation.