Arun District Council appoints new partner to run local leisure services
Arun District Council has appointed Freedom Leisure to manage and operate four local leisure facilities from April 1, 2016.
Arun Leisure Centre, Bersted Park Community Centre, Littlehampton Swimming and Sports Centre and The Windmill Entertainment Centre will all come under the management of Freedom Leisure and are set to benefit from renewed resources, investment and refurbishment.
In particular, Arun Leisure Centre will enjoy significant capital investment of around £1.5m to improve its facilities and energy efficiency.
The 10-year contract was awarded to Freedom Leisure following a competitive tender process. Arun District Council was looking for a provider which could deliver top quality facilities and customer services and bring innovative, fresh ideas to the centres.
Councillor Paul Dendle, Arun District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Amenities, said: “We are delighted to be working with Freedom Leisure and feel confident in its ability to deliver a superb service to our local communities.
“Freedom Leisure demonstrated a very strong community and sports development ethic and we believe it will prove an excellent partner in helping us deliver Arun’s priorities. We are particularly looking to improve health and wellbeing among the whole community and priority groups including the disabled, older people and very young children.
“Freedom Leisure has demonstrated its ability to provide health and wellness programmes alongside first-rate leisure facilities and we believe under its management, the whole community will benefit. In addition, we will be making a saving of £1.1 million on the current contract.”
Freedom Leisure is a ‘not-for-profit organisation’ which means that all profits are reinvested into the facilities to further enhance their provision. Its headquarters is in East Hoathly, East Sussex, and the business has a strong presence and excellent reputation in the South East of England.
Ivan Horsfall Turner, Managing Director for Freedom Leisure, said: “We are very pleased to be chosen as Arun’s community leisure partner. The sites all have great potential and loyal members. We see our role is to enhance the services on offer, introduce some new initiatives and broaden their appeal to more people, including the very young and older populations.
“We will work closely with Arun District Council whose local knowledge and experience will ensure we develop the facilities to meet the local demand precisely.”
Cllr Dendle added: “We would like to thank Inspire Leisure’s board and staff for all their hard work and commitment over the last ten years. We are sure that they will want to work closely with the Council to ensure a seamless transfer of service for the customers and staff.”