Cost-benefit analysis and social impact bond feasibility analysis for the Birmingham Be Active scheme

Published: 13 December 2011

Be Active is a scheme provided free of charge to all Birmingham residents who live within the Birmingham City Council. 

The aim of the scheme is to tackle health inequality and associated deprivation levels, by offering access to free physical activity sessions for all 1.1 million citizens of the city. Participants can take part in free swimming, exercise classes or the gym at any Council-run leisure centre during off-peak hours, which vary according to each centre and some community based activities.

The current economic climate means that demonstrating that Be Active represents value for money is an imperative if it is to continue to be funded. The purpose of this research was to provide answers to the following questions:

  • Does Be Active represent value for money?
  • Would it be economically feasible to fund Be Active by means of a social impact bond (SIB)?

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