DD1385 Make a Splash – Sponsorship and 18metres Pilot Pool

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
26 August 2015
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This DD seeks approval to commit £45,000 from the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme towards the costs associated with delivery of the Make a Splash mobile swimming pools programme (2013-15) and to change the delivery approach proposed for future pool deployments approved by DD1273.

The Make a Splash programme has been running since 2009 and is a central part of the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme. 


That the Executive Director for Communities and Intelligence approves: 

1. Additional expenditure of up to £45,000 in grant funding to the Amateur Swimming Association as a contribution to its costs of delivering the Make a Splash programme (2013-15) in London; and 

2. The related variation to the funding agreement approved in DD1273 concerning the GLA’s ASA contribution to ASA’s costs of delivering two additional 12 metre mobile swimming pools, rather than one 18 metre pool, vary outputs to reflect the change, and to extend delivery of the programme and funding agreement from September 2015 to July 2016. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Background

1.1.1    As part of the UK’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the UK made a commitment to establish a sporting legacy. In order to deliver that commitment in London, the Mayor published ‘A Sporting Future for London’ in 2009 and made £15.5m available (Phase 1) to fund the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme (MSLP), focussing investment on infrastructure development, skills and capacity building, and initiatives designed to increase participation in grassroots sports (MD385). 

1.1.2    Following the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, an additional £7m (Phase 2) was made available for the programme to invest to ensure gains made in Phase 1 of the programme are sustained (MD1119). 

1.1.3    Investment in the MSLP is focussed on three main categories:

    ‘Facilities’ – capital funding to support investment in community sports facilities;
    ‘Skills and Capacity Building’ – revenue funding to build capacity in the sport and active leisure sector, including training for volunteers;
    ‘Participation’ – revenue funding to support the expansion and growth of projects that provide opportunities for Londoners to take part in sport and stay active (including the ‘FreeSport’ small grants programme, and the ‘Make a Splash’ mobile pools initiative).  
1.2    Make a Splash – Progress to date    

1.2.1    The Make a Splash programme is run by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) in partnership with Total Swimming Ltd (Company Number: 05529904), a commercial mobile pool operator. 

1.2.2    The ASA is the National Governing Body (NGB) for swimming and is not a commercial organisation. As the NGB for the sport, the ASA are the only viable partner for this programme – they are responsible for providing the NGB-accredited swimming teachers who staff the pools. As such, an open procurement process is not required for this programme.

1.2.3    The project involves the deployment of stainless steel temporary swimming pools in locations across London for approximately 12 weeks at a time. The project delivers courses of swimming lessons to both school groups and community groups at each deployment location. 

1.2.4    Pools are deployed (usually in schools) in areas that satisfy at least one of the following criteria: significant levels of socio-economic deprivation in the local catchment area; lack of access to other swimming facilities; or high Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) populations locally.

1.2.5    The GLA has supported four different phases of the Make a Splash programme to date. The initial programme ran between September 2009 and December 2010. Through DD190, the GLA granted £325,562 to the ASA as a contribution to its costs of delivering the programme.

1.2.6    Under cover of DD424 the Executive Director for Communities and Intelligence approved the GLA’s grant of £700,000 to the ASA as a contribution to its costs of delivering phase two the programme between April 2011 and March 2013. 

1.2.7    Under cover of DD1120 the Executive Director for Communities and Intelligence approved the GLA’s grant of £350,000 to the ASA as a contribution to its costs of delivering the programme between April 2013 and March 2015. 

1.2.8    Under cover of DD1342 the Executive Director for Communities and Intelligence approved the GLA’s grant of £350,000 to the ASA as a contribution to its costs to continue delivering the programme between April 2015 and March 2017. 

1.2.9    To date, mobile pools have been deployed in 29 locations throughout London, in 20 different boroughs. More than 33,000 individuals have received a course of swimming lessons through the project, either learning to swim for the first time or significantly improving their swimming skills.

1.2.10    The programme has consistently met or exceeded its targets and receives highly positive feedback from the host schools.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2    £45k Grant for 2013-15 Programme

2.1    DD1120 approved the GLA’s grant of £350,000 to the ASA as a contribution to its costs to deliver the programme between April 2013 and March 2015.

2.2    In order to reduce the GLA’s contribution compared to the preceding two year programme, whilst ensuring that the programme was funded fully, it was agreed that the ASA would seek third party sponsorship to the value of £180,000 for the programme (£90,000 in year one and £90,000 in year two of the programme). It was also agreed that the ASA would underwrite the sponsorship sought in year one of the programme, with the year two shortfall underwritten equally by the ASA and the GLA – but the ASA would be responsible for the first call on any underwrite. Consequently, the majority of financial liability for the sponsorship underwrite rested with the ASA.

2.3    As it transpired, the ASA were able to secure sponsorship of £75,000 for year one of the programme. They were, however, unable to secure sponsorship in year two. We are therefore seeking approval to contribute £45,000 - our share of the 50 per cent underwrite cost for that year -  with the ASA meeting the remaining deficit.

2.4    In order to safeguard the GLA from future costs associated with a shortfall in sponsorship funding, it has been agreed with the ASA that the GLA will not meet similar costs associated with the 2015-17 Make a Splash Programme (approved by DD1352).

3    Change of Deliverables Associated with DD1273

3.1    DD1273 approved expenditure of £79,200 as a contribution to the ASA’s costs of delivering a pilot 18 metre mobile pool deployment.

3.2    Following extensive negotiations with third party delivery partners, the ASA has been unable to identify a suitable location to deploy the 18m pilot pool within the desired timescales.

3.3    It is therefore proposed that the GLA contributes the previously identified £79,200 instead towards the ASA’s costs of delivering two additional 12 metre pool deployments, in line with the wider Make a Splash Programme 2015-17.

3.4    The two additional pools will engage approx. 2,500 unique participants into a course of swimming lessons. This is 250 more swimming lesson attendees than that proposed for the 18m pilot pool, but without the additional 4,250 recreational pool users previously proposed.

3.5    The additional pools will be deployed in January and July 2016.

3.6    It is felt that for the quality of the facility and the intensity of the teaching programme that participants will receive, this represents extremely good value for money at a cost to the GLA of £32 on average per head for a course of swimming lessons (usually five or six lessons).

3.7    It is proposed that the GLA fund this activity by way of a variation of the 2013 funding agreement. The variation would serve to: 

•    extend the duration of the agreement until 31 July 2016;
•    update the targets of the agreement to reflect the projected outputs of the two additional 12m pools;
•    confirm that the previously agreed GLA contribution of £79,200 will contribute towards two 12m pools rather than an 18m pilot pool.

Equality comments

4.1    An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

4.2    According to the most recent Sport England Active People survey (APS 8 published in January 2015), levels of participation in sport and physical activity are variable across different socio-demographic groups in London. Across all 33 London Boroughs, average figures indicate that 43% of men participate in sport at least once a week compared to 32% of women. 37% of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people participate weekly compared to 39% of people of white origin. 19% of disabled people participate weekly compared to 40% of non-disabled people. 17% of people over the age of 65 participate weekly compared to 52% of those between the age of 16 and 25. 41% of people from socio-economic groups 1 to 4 participate weekly compared to 25% from of from socio-economic groups 5-8 (based on the National Statistics Socio-economic classification system).

4.3    Sports programmes supported by the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme engage significant numbers of women, disabled people, BAME people and people from lower socio-economic groups, both via sports participation programmes and training opportunities. 

4.4    The Make a Splash Programme deploys swimming pools that are accessible to communities experiencing significant levels of socio-economic deprivation, as measured by the English Indices of Deprivation 2010. Pools will be located in boroughs where schools and communities encounter barriers in accessing time at permanent local authority swimming pools. The deployments include provision of disability access solutions.

Other considerations

5.1 Key Risks and Issues



Mitigating Action


Project may not raise participation in sports and physical activity

  • The reports submitted to the GLA from previous Make a Splash Programmes highlight the success of previous projects undertaken and the programme is deemed worth extending
  • More than 33,000 individuals have participated in the programme to date, exceeding the targets set at the outset of the programme.
  • Quarterly monitoring meetings with project managers
  • Grant instalments only payable upon evidence of milestone completion


Funding is not used for the purpose it is intended (i.e. fraud). Potential result: reputational damage, failure to hit pre-agreed objectives.

  • Across the breadth of projects commissioned to date there have been no known instances of fraud or misuse of the Mayor’s funding.
  • All projects are subject to performance monitoring and have to provide evidence of delivery and spend before payments can be processed.
  • The internal audit review carried out in December 2014 issued the programme with a ‘Substantial Assurance’ rating.


Misplaced actions of partner organisations/ their staff may bring GLA into disrepute by association.

  • All project staff working with young people required to have up to date CRB checks
  • Deliverers required to have £5m liability insurance cover
  • All press liaison to be done through GLA.


5.2 Links to Mayoral Strategies & Priorities

The subject matter of the approval sought will:
•    support delivery of Goals 1 and 2 set out in ‘A Sporting Future for London’, published in April 2009, 
•    support the aims of ‘Inclusive and Active 2’, a strategy for increasing participation in sport and physical activity amongst disabled people in London, 
•    assist in meeting the objectives of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy; 
•    promote social development
•    assist the Mayor in delivering his commitment to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, particularly through increased sports participation and access to sports facilities for Londoners

5.3    Impact Assessments and Consultations

5.3.1    An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme. Further information is available at Section 3 of this document.

5.3.2    In writing ‘A Sporting Future for London’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with over 400 individuals from over 100 different groups and organisations including national governing bodies of sport, the Pro-Active Partnerships, senior representatives from local authorities and a wide variety of sports clubs and community organisations. 

5.3.3    The conclusions reached received broad support from all key stakeholders and reaction to the plan itself has been very positive.

Financial comments

6.1    DD1120 approved the Make a Splash Programme for 2013 to 2015 and the subsequent award of grant totalling £350,000 to the ASA towards the costs of running the programme. As detailed within the main body of this report, the ASA were responsible for raising sponsorship income for this programme to the value of £180,000. However, they were unable to secure the income and the GLA had in principle agreed to underwrite half of year two’s sponsorship shortfall that amounts to £45,000. This will be funded from the Sports Legacy Programme budget for 2015-16. 

6.2    It should be noted that the GLA will not be underwriting any costs associated with the new Make a Splash Programme for 2015-17 that has been approved by DD1352.

6.3    With regards to the change of deliverables associated with DD1273; there are no changes to the financial consequences of the proposal as previously approved. The change of deliverables will, however, require a variation to the existing funding agreement.

6.4    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.  

Planned delivery approach and next steps

8.1    Delivery of two 12 metre x 6 metre mobile swimming pools, one in January 2016, one in April 2016.

8.2    A temporary housing structure will be available for both projects.

8.3    Production of monitoring report for each project, breaking down key usage statistics for both the school and community swimming programmes.

8.4    Local partnerships will be built to signpost swimming pathways for participants following completion of each project.



DD Signed

August 2015

Funding Agreement Signed

September 2015

Deployment of Pool 1

January 2016

Deployment of Pool 2

April 2016

Submission of programme evaluation report

March 2017

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