15 year leisure centre management contract awarded

Malvern Hills District Council's three leisure centres will come under new management from 1 April 2015, following the award of a 15 year contract to Freedom Leisure.

Cllr Phil Grove, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Leisure and Health and Wellbeing, said: "We are very pleased to announce Freedom Leisure as the preferred bidder to manage Malvern Splash Leisure Complex, Sport Dyson Perrins and Sport Martley Leisure Centres. We look forward to working with them to increase participation, improve the facilities and offer more leisure opportunities to all of our residents."

Phil added: "We will be working with Freedom Leisure and the wider community to reach a number of target groups at our centres and out in the rural villages. These include older people, children and young people and people with disabilities. As outlined in our Sport & Leisure Strategy, we believe big improvements can be made in residents' health and wellbeing by encouraging greater participation in physical activities".

Freedom Leisure is a leading not-for-profit leisure trust currently managing 30 leisure and fitness centres. Freedom Leisure is committed to the provision and development of inclusive leisure and fitness facilities. Through continued investment, Freedom Leisure strives to provide a wide range of opportunities for improving health and wellbeing and maximising leisure time within all its communities.

Ivan Horsfall Turner Freedom Leisure's Managing Director added: "We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and we look forward to working with the council, the dual use facilities and the wider community to increase participation in sport and leisure activities."

Freedom Leisure was awarded the contract after an extensive tendering process involving 11 companies, six of which were shortlisted.

The new contract includes detailed performance monitoring to ensure important participation, health and environmental targets are being met and a revenue sharing mechanism to allow for any excess surplus to be shared equally between the leisure operator and the council.

Cllr Paul Cumming, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Finance, said: "This is an excellent outcome for the council and its taxpayers, particularly given that local authorities across the country are closing leisure facilities due to financial pressures. Not only is the council able to make significant revenue savings from this contract over the 15 year period but has negotiated further investment in the facilities."