Opening School Facilities

39% of sporting facilities are behind school gates. We are looking to understand and support schools to open up their sports facilities, in order to broaden the offer of extra-curricular and out of school sporting and physical activities available to pupils and the wider community.

Greater Manchester has an ambition to create more safe spaces for children and young people in the communities they live in. School settings provide an opportunity to achieve this, as they have a perceived safety and familiarity for young people and the local community.

Nationally 39% of sport facilities are locked behind school gates during the summer holidays and in Greater Manchester, we know that the Covid-19 pandemic made access to facilities even more difficult, leaving many clubs without a space to meet. In Greater Manchester, GreaterSport, on behalf of GM Moving, is working with schools to encourage and support them to open their facilities, outside of school hours, to help children and young people move more in their local area.

Why open your facilities?

Opening your school’s facilities at evenings and weekends can benefit your community's local sports clubs, and it can benefit your school directly in a number of ways by:

  • Raising your school’s profile and presence in the community
  • Contributing towards becoming, or staying, an outstanding school
  • Providing a vital new income stream
  • Delivering physical and mental health benefits.
  • Increasing the activity levels of your pupils and local community.
  • Making connections with local and national organisations that are looking for safe spaces for young people to be active.
  • Becoming part of Greater Manchester’s Open Facilities school community and have access to peer support.
  • Creating sustainable change that makes best use of your current facilities and could bring income into your school for the long-term.

Further details please contact

How to open your facilities

Sport England's Use Our School resource can support schools to open their facilities to the community. It provides a detailed overview of the ways you can open your facilities and the help that’s available. This includes guidance and resources relating to overcoming barriers, open facilities in practice, tips from those already going through the process, the case for community use and the legal and financial implications.

Reading the Use Our School resource will help you get started with opening your facilities.

Booking systems

There are many booking systems available that could support schools to open their facilities. In Greater Manchester, we have an ambition to support organisations to open their data and make it easier for communities to find spaces to rent and individuals find activities that might suit them. Booking systems play a big role in making opening data possible; if you are considering using a booking system please consider one that enables open data. If you would like support in finding a booking system, please contact us, or view OpenActive’s list of enabled systems here.

Register your interest

If your school is interested in support, future investment or local connections to help you open your facilities please complete the form below and we will be in touch.

Latest News

All News

"What the school are providing for our children is amazing" - Opening School Facilities Case Study

By St Thomas Moorside School (Oldham) | 16 June 2023

St Thomas' Moorside School in Oldham share how the Opening School Facilities funding via GreaterSport has supported more young people to be active.

New Opening School Facilities funding to boost opportunities for communities to be active

By GreaterSport | 08 March 2023

Funding received to support Greater Manchester schools to open their sports facilities to help communities to be more active.

Opening school sites – beyond the school day webinar

By GreaterSport | 13 May 2022

This webinar provided the opportunity to share learnings and take away ideas to support opening school facilities.