SPORTING facilities in Radcliffe are to be given a big boost to tackle the town's growing number of fatties.

The move comes in the wake of a survey which revealed that more than one-third of the town's population is overweight.

The Active Radcliffe scheme is aimed at encouraging more people to take up exercise, in a bid to improve their health and well-being.

The Government hopes to significantly raise the levels of sport and physical activity, with people participating in 30-minutes of moderate exercise, five times a week. A survey, commissioned by Bury Primary Care Trust, was carried out in 2002 to monitor the health status of people in Radcliffe. A total of 6,835 questionnaires were distributed in the town and results revealed that 38 per cent of residents were overweight.

A public consultation was held in July last year to find out how the people of Radcliffe felt about sport, and how they thought facilities could be improved. New and existing facilties will be developed and better advertised to encourage more people to get active an idea spearheaded by Bury's sports development unit. Jackie Veal, sports development manager for Bury Council, told Tuesday's meeting of Radcliffe Area Board, that the plan would help get more people involved in sport.

She said: "We hope the plan will involve more people in sport and help them maintain participation, whether informally or through a club in Radcliffe."

Coun Barry Briggs, board chairman, said: "The Active Radcliffe plan outlines how we can all contribute towards making Radcliffe a more healthy area."

The plan will come in over the next two years.