The Essex Local Delivery Pilot (LDP) is a new and exciting initiative, led by Active Essex, to build healthier, more active communities across Essex. An active lifestyle creates huge benefits for the health and wellbeing of individuals and families, as well as making local communities more vibrant, connected, and resilient.

Essex is one of 12 pilots chosen by Sport England to test innovative approaches that could unlock something ground-breaking for the whole country and find solutions that increases activity levels that are genuinely replicable and sustainable. This is a bold new approach for Sport England, investing over £100 million in a once in a generation national pilot to tackle population levels of physical inactivity. The pilots will run initially until 2025.

The 12 LDPs are very different. Some cover large areas like Essex, Greater Manchester, and Birmingham & Solihull; whilst others are focused on small communities such as Withernsea in Yorkshire and two housing estates in Hackney in East London. This diversity is a real strength to what can be learnt from the LDPs.

More information about the LDP programme can be found on the Sport England website

The Essex LDP is the only one in the East region and is focused on over 400,000 people who live in the county’s most disadvantaged areas, and where individuals and families are facing the greatest inequalities. 1 in 4 people in Essex are inactive, which rises to as much as 1 in 2 in our least affluent communities.

The Essex LDP is using two strategic approaches to tackle physical inactivity:

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      • Whole system change – not just focusing on the sport and physical activity sector, but working with system leaders from health, social care, education, transport, voluntary and community, community safety, and with employers. All these system settings can have a cumulative impact on physical activity levels, rather than the silo working that we have been used to in the past
      • Social movements – encouraging local people in local communities to take charge to increase opportunities for people to be more active. We have adopted the asset based community development approach which puts communities in the driving seat, recognising that local people with energy and passion are the significant assets that can make a big difference to local communities. We are focusing on what is strong, not what is wrong.

The LDP is testing in the most deprived wards of three key local authorities. Each area has created a local LDP plan:

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      • Basildon – subject to post war ‘new town’ development which has led to high levels of poverty and social immobility
      • Colchester– one of the fastest growing areas in the country which is also seeing a growth in deprivation year on year
      • Tendring – a coastal area suffering from chronic long-term deprivation

Our focus is on three key target audiences: 

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      • Families with dependent children
      • People with poor mental health
      • Older people

What we’ve done so far:

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      • We have taken time to understand the complex nature of physical inactivity in Essex. The first year was hugely important to lay the foundations by engaging with over 100 system leaders, gathering key insight and data,  and undertaking robust stakeholder and community engagement. This period is documented in the LDP Chapter one report
      • We used all of the first-year insight to design the delivery phase of the LDP which is documented in the Chapter two report.  The delivery uses the framework of our two strategic priorities: 1) whole system change, 2) supporting social movements.  The diagram below illustrates our focus on seven system settings, supported by five underpinning themes which provide the foundation to all of our work. One of the underpinning themes is evaluation, which is essential to capture the learning of our pilot. In summer 2019, a consortium was appointed to evaluate the Essex LDP, led by the University of Essex and including Sheffield Hallam University, Brunel University, JUMP analytics, and Reason Digital


Four Process Learning Reports:

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