Council aims to get 5,000 more people active in South Tyneside
Ambitious plans to encourage 5,000 more people in South Tyneside to get active have been given the go-ahead.
South Tyneside Council is to launch a new Physical Activity Strategy in a drive to tackle worrying health statistics.
Currently, 26% of people aged over 19 in the borough are classed as being inactive – higher than the national average of 22.2%.
The strategy, which will run until 2022, has a range goals to get people outdoors - with a focus on boosting cycling and walking.
Plans include a cycle and walkway connecting South Tyneside to the planned multi-million pound International Advanced Manufacturing Park, north of Nissan.
The scheme – in partnership with Sunderland City Council- is expected create thousands of jobs.
Other plans include encouraging more children to travel to school by foot or bike - with the aim of getting 1,070 more children walking or cycling to school.
Lead member for Independence and Wellbeing on the council, Coun Tracey Dixon, revealed the strategy.
She said: “The strategy builds on the existing investment the council has made into leisure services across the borough including venues such as Haven Point, Hebburn Central and more recently, Jarrow Focus.
“In addition to leisure services, the borough also has local park runs, health walks, access to green spaces and the coastline.
“The strategy aims to build on the existing assets h to enable 5,000 currently inactive residents into some form of increased activity.”
She added: “This will bring South Tyneside in line with the national average for activity levels and make a big impact and reduce poor health.”
Other goals include getting GPs and other health progessionals encourage people to take part in physical activity.
This would apply to the 69,000 residents living with one or more health condition in the borough.
A council report adds: “Increasing physical activity has a range of benefits to the system across emotional, financial, individual, intellectual, physical and social domains.
“We need to make physical activity everyone’s business.”
Te strategy will be launched it later this month.
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service