Leisure body will start in autumn

Top-level approval has been given for a new sports, parks and leisure organisation.

The Government has approved the creation of the new Institute of Sport, Parks & Leisure (ISPAL), with minister for sport Richard Caborn promising funding to get the new body established. The Institute of Leisure & Amenity Management and the National Association for Sports Development are to merge on 1 September to form ISPAL. The new institute will be the UK’s professional body for sport, parks, leisure, children’s play and fitness. The Institute of Sport & Recreation Management (ISRM) had been involved in amalgamation talks but members recently voted not to join at this time. ISPAL’s board was told last week that Caborn had made it clear the Government would only work with the new organisation. This could encourage ISRM to reconsider its decision not to join. ISPAL board members have extensive experience in sport and leisure and are seeking new members to bring experience and skills from other parts of the industry. That is likely to be a signal to parks staff to discourage them from joining a rival institute that GreenSpace is establishing.

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