Inactivity presents the biggest health risk in our time and this strategy places delivering better health and wellbeing outcomes for our residents as our number one priority. In order to support our most inactive residents become more active, whilst retaining the number of residents who are active, we will work collaboratively to design and shape opportunities that meet their individual needs. We will be working universally across the Borough to drive up activity levels as well as targeting the specific groups we know are at greater risk from inactivity.

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The Sport and Physical Activity Strategy is aligned with the emerging Early Years Strategy, to focus on making Wirral great for all, including children, young people, and their families, driven by their voice, wants and needs. Over the last 10 years, Wirral’s deprivation rates have increased at a rapid rate, with 35% of its population living in deprived areas. This figure increases in Wirral’s most deprived wards, with child poverty being as high as 45% in Birkenhead and Tranmere. Bidston and St. James, Seacombe and Rock Ferry, where at least 1 in 3 young people live in poverty.

Residents living with a long-term condition or disability

There are approximately, 72,000 residents over the ages of 16 living in Wirral with a long-term limiting illness, which accounts for 23% of residents in comparison to England’s national average of 13%. Despite this number being higher than the national average, the number of residents with long term illnesses and conditions continues to grow, with the most common being; respiratory diseases, mental health, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In Wirral, the spread of health deprivation and disability is vast, and there is a great difference between two wards on opposing sides of the Borough, with a particular area in Birkenhead being ranked as England’s 2nd worst area for health deprivation and disability.

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Approximately 35% of Wirral’s residents reside in an area of deprivation, and over 25% of residents live in the 10 most deprived communities in England. Poverty is something that affects all areas of the Borough, affecting on average 13.4% of Wirral residents compared to England’s national average of 11.8%. However, the disparity of wealth between the east and west sides of the Borough, means that in some cases, poverty levels can be as low as 5.9% in Heswall, and as high as 34.5% in Birkenhead and Tranmere, with an average of nearly 30% in the 5 most deprived wards in Wirral.


Girls in Wirral are less active than their male counterparts with 51.8% of boys and only 35.2% of girls classified as active in the most recent Sport England Active Lives survey. When it comes to adulthood, the number of active women and men are equal. As a result, we would like to better understand and make efforts to reduce this activity gap in girls participation.

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To provide opportunities for all Wirral residents to be more active


  1. Developing opportunities for Wirral residents to move more.
  2. Better understanding and engaging with groups with the highest identified needs to co-design opportunities that are right for them.
  3. Continuously reviewing our offer to ensure that it remains exciting and attractive to a broad cross-section of users.
  4. Encouraging positive behavioural change and increased activity through targeted interventions.
  5. Maximising income to fund initiatives that address highest identified priorities.


  • Support a decrease in the number of physically inactive residents, with a particular focus on underrepresented groups – families and children, residents with long term health conditions and disabilities, women and girls and residents living in deprived areas. As well as retaining the number of physically active residents.
  • Support children and young people to ensure that they have the best start possible, so they can achieve their ambitions. To encourage regular participation and increase their enjoyment in physical activity to reduce childhood obesity levels, and support their general wellbeing, providing them with the necessary life skills to be the best that they can be.
  • Better health and social outcomes for our residents through sport and physical activity.