Evolution of Public Services: UK Leisure Centres in the Late 20th Century

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Following Gillett and Tennent (2020) who outline sport as a lens through which to view management history, this paper focusses on public services in England, specifically leisure centre provision in the late 20th century. Overall, we chart the 'evolution' of the UKs sport and leisure provision in the second half of the 20th century, expanding on the work of Houlihan (1991; 2014) who identified the central role played by local authorities in sport provision. We highlight how the public sector made some provision directly but that there was also some reliance on elite sport organisations such as professional football clubs (FCs) to provide facilities and expertise. These organisations have a quasi-public character, and Gillett and Tennent (2018) demonstrate that such collaborations led to local government efforts to protect these clubs because of their community value.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021
EventBritish Academy of Management Annual Conference 2021 - Online
Duration: 31 Aug 20212 Sept 2021


ConferenceBritish Academy of Management Annual Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleBAM 2021

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