Having the right facilities in the right places is vital to attract and inspire new participants, and to provide opportunities for improvements in personal performance among more experienced athletes.
National facilities strategy
Our ambition is to create an innovative and inspiring network of sustainable athletics facilities, with the capacity to meet both current and future demand across England. England Athletics has published a national facilities strategy to explain how it will work towards achieving this ambition. A copy of the strategy can be downloaded from the menu on the right hand side of this page.
England Athletics Facilities Manager Ed Hunt recently (October 2021) hosted s 60 minute webinar which provides a useful overview of track surface types and maintenance as well as a slot on the importance of good floodlighting. The webinar includes guest speaker slots from our three facility partners: Polytan, Playdeck and Midstream Lighting. (A login needs to be created – no marketing emails will be sent)
Indoor and outdoor track and field facilities in the UK
A map detailing all indoor and outdoor synthetic track & field athletics facilities in the UK is available to view.
TrackMark is a UKA quality assurance scheme for Track & Field Athletics facilities launched in 2018. TrackMark is a low-cost accreditation process that utilises a simple web based portal. A venue that achieves TrackMark status is recognised by UKA as having well managed, well maintained facilities that are accessible to participants of all abilities.
UKA recognises that track and field facilities come in all shapes and sizes and TrackMark is split into six units so that venue operators can select and complete only the units that are relevant to them. Details of TrackMark can be found in the facilities section as they become available. See www.uka.org.uk/governance/facilities/.
England Athletics encourages all tracks to seek accreditation through TrackMark.
A document providing more details about the track mark scheme is now available. This can be downloaded from the facilities section of the UKA website at www.uka.org.uk/governance/facilities/, or the Click here to download TrackMark FAQs document (PDF 155kB).
Clubs may also find the following information useful:
- TrackMark Overview Presentation
- TrackMark Overview
- TrackMark Unit 1 – Track guidance notes
- TrackMark Unit 2 – Field
- TrackMark Unit 3 – Ancillary guidance notes
- TrackMark Unit 4 – Operations guidance notes
- TrackMark Unit 5 – Floodlighting guidance notes
- TrackMark Unit 6 – Competition guidance notes
- Competition licensing – Information about licensing for competitions
Construction and repair/ refurbishment
Sport England has produced useful guidance on the design of facilities for athletics. However, the design of athletics track and field facilities is complex and England Athletics would always recommend the involvement of an athletics track designer who is a member of SAPCA’s Track & Field division in order to ensure that the design conforms to the detailed requirements set out in the IAAF Track and Field Facilities Manual. If you are planning a major project, we can provide a list of experienced track designers for you to select from.
The construction of new athletics facilities and the repair/refurbishment of existing ones should be carried out by an experienced contractor. Again, England Athletics would always recommend the involvement of a contractor who is a member of SAPCA’s Track & Field division and we can provide a list of contractors for you to select from. Work to track and field facilities should be carried out in accordance with the SAPCA Code of Practice for the Construction and Maintenance of Athletics Tracks, which can be accessed at sapca.org.uk/guide/codes-of-practice.
UK athletics has published guidance for track operators on best practice in track management.
- Click here for the Track Operators’ Handbook (PDF 2.1MB).
- Click here to view the current UKA guidance on Health & Safety at the UKA website
- Click here to view the latest UKA guidance for facilities operators and clubs.
Free track & field facilities management course
To support venue operators and clubs to run safe, well managed track & field facilities, UK Athletics have launched a new online Track & Field Management Course which is available free of charge. This course is designed for track managers, grounds staff, athletics club members and anyone with an interest in athletics facility management. Click here to search for a course.
Facilities for disabled athletes
The Equality Act 2010 places a legal duty on sports clubs to make reasonable adjustments to their services to ensure that they are accessible for disabled people to use.
The Activity Alliance (formerly the English Federation of Disability Sport) produces a useful guide to help clubs improve physical access for disabled people called “Access for all: Opening Doors”. This can be accessed at www.activityalliance.org.uk/how-we-help/resources.
Sport England also produces accessible facilities guidance, which can be accessed at www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning/design-and-cost-guidance/accessible-facilities/.
England Athletics expects all new track and field facilities to provide anchor points for wheelchair throws competitors and recommends that this type of provision should be made in all venues.
Where an athletics facility is offered to the resident club or the club is interested in acquiring greater control over their home track, England Athletics can help the club build a business plan that will help them assess the viability of the proposal and, if necessary, attract funding to help them with set-up and early operating costs. Please see our asset transfer page.
Compact Athletics facilities
England Athletics has adopted UKA’s strategic position that we should concentrate on preserving and improving the existing stock of 400m tracks rather than seeking to build additional ones. However, there are areas in the country where journey time to the nearest full size outdoor track is longer than ideal, and there are places where good coaching has created significant demand despite the lack of a local athletics facility. The Compact Athletics concept is intended to fill this gap, providing training facilities in places where there is insufficient demand, funding or land to accommodate a full-size track.
A Compact Athletics facility can take a number of forms, but essentially provides a strip of synthetic track plus some capacity for jumps and throws, enabling core athletic skills to be taught, enjoyed and developed. More details of this concept can be found at www.sportengland.org/facilities-planning/design-and-cost-guidance/other-design-guidance.
Clubhouse buildings make an important contribution to the overall experience of club members so it is important that they are designed, operated and maintained well. Detailed guidance on the design of clubhouses is available from Sport England.