LEISURE, SPORT & TOURISM

The public are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of leisure and sport time. In a time where stress levels are high and many people have a reasonable income, they are turning to different leisure and sporting pursuits to improve health, reduce stress and make more quality time with family and loved ones. Landowning Initiatives are able to give advice on the types of enterprise that is suitable and discuss the options for marketing and preparing the activities.

Activity Holidays

With an increasing amount of leisure time available and the public being more aware of how they spend their quality time. This means that there is good potential for the development of activity holidays, these can either be organised by the farmer or run or franchised to a specialist company. Many farms have the space and landscape for this sort of enterprise and the potential income is good.

Adventure Games/Paint Balling

Games lasting about 45 minutes involve two teams starting at opposite ends of woodland, firing paintballs at the "enemy". The area for "battles" needs to be over 15 acres, Planning Permission must be obtained even for a temporary site and Adventure Games need a Licence. A realistic turnover would be in the region of £50,000 although successful sites may achieve in excess of £250,000.

Archery

There are many different types of Archery, depending on the amount of space you have available, this will dictate to some extent the type of Archery you provide. Do not think that it is just someone standing behind a line and aiming at a target. This is your "Traditional" Target Archery! Archery can also be adapted to have a junior or senior range and can be created for targets in woodland areas. There are so many different types of archery. Field Archery requires open woodland with slopes and hollows, rough banks, shrubs and trees. Target Archery using a flat field or strip in a woodland, ideally 200 meters long. Indoor Archery, can be set up in a barn 7 meters x 30 meters. What about Mounted Archer? The list goes on and on.

Arts, Media and Entertainment

Many farms are set in picturesque surroundings where there are many areas that some areas of the entertainment industry would like to film local programmes, news and films. Some locations may be suitable venues for concerts, plays and displays and there is good potential to develop these sites alongside present farming methods.

Aviation

Increasingly people are spending more money on flying and associated activities, be it planes, helicopters, gliding or ballooning. There may be some scope for either providing sites for these activities to take place or for a franchise for a company to run a business providing all the equipment and allowing people to take flights using buildings and land that are made available.

Cricket

The improvement of the England cricket team and the injection of funding from the National Lottery have seen an increase in the popularity of cricket. Considerable opportunity is around to develop this type of sport. There are a number of opportunities that are available to those that have land or spare barns for putting up cricket nets and possibly even providing tuition or match facilites.

Golf

Consists of either 18 hole, 9 hole, par 3 course, pitch and putt or driving ranges, or a combination of several options. A high capital cost of developing and maintaining a golf course make it a high risk enterprise. The alternative is to lease or sell a site to a developer with planning permission.

Motor Sports

There is a growing demand to allow off-road vehicles. Motor cycle events include scrambling and trial riding over difficult hilly terrain. Car rallying on tarmac roads or unmade roads in moorland or forestry. All Terrain vehicles and quads are (usually) 4-wheel drive, one-person vehicles designed for off-road use.

Ricochet

Ricochet is a relatively new sport and there is an increasing interest in the potential market for this type of enterprise. This could be an exciting venture with relatively low set-up and maintenance costs, this enables the capital outlay to be recovered quickly.

Tennis

There is real potential in providing indoor tennis courts. The Lawn Tennis Association advises that a large-scale racket centre requires a catchment of 200,000 plus people, however, small tennis centres (2-3 courts) have been successfully established in rural areas.

Touring Caravans & Camp Sites

There is an increasing amount of leisure time being spent on walking, cycling and touring. The people who partake in these activities are looking for cheap accommodation or camping areas that are an alternative to hotels and bed and breakfast. Location is the key to a successful caravan or camp site. Facilities are also important, but these can be minimal to offer a cheaper site, extensive facilites would allow a greater charge per pitch but obviously the outlay would be greater. Planning is an important area of this proposal unless you are looking at offering this facility for less than 28 days per year.