East Suffolk Council is delighted to confirm the appointment of a new company to manage its leisure facilities in the north of the district.
Following a rigorous and competitive procurement process, despite the challenges presented by Covid 19, East Suffolk Council has agreed an eight-year management contract for two leisure centres with “Everyone Active”, part of Sports and Leisure Management Ltd, who will now take on the day-to-day running of Waveney Valley Leisure Centre and Waterlane Leisure Centre from 1 March 2021.
Meanwhile, ‘Places Leisure’ will continue to operate the Council facilities in the south of the district.
The new agreement comes after Sentinel Leisure Trust’s operational contract ended in October 2020, and Cllr Stephen Burroughes, cabinet member for Operational Partnerships, is looking forward to a working relationship which will bring real benefits to leisure users. He said:
“East Suffolk Council is really pleased to announce the new partnership with Everyone Active and we are delighted by their commitment to deliver high quality leisure services which provide great value for our communities.
“The Council has made significant investments in its leisure centres over the past four years, delivering refreshed, state-of-the-art facilities which our communities can enjoy for many years to come. We’ve just completed a £3.4 million refurbishment at Waveney Valley Leisure Centre and Waterlane Leisure Centre is currently undergoing extensive improvement works.
“Obviously, we have a responsibility to ensure that our investments provide value for money and maximised benefits for our communities, so it was important that we found the best fit when choosing a new operator. ‘Everyone Active’s bid impressed East Suffolk Council because of the level of understanding they had of the district, and the issues that exist in different urban and rural locations.
“The Council will be working with the new operator to design programmes that meet the needs of all people in the north of the district – whether they are a regular gym-goer, or are wanting to live a more active life, but don’t know how."
Dan Hicks, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said:
“We’re excited to embark on our new partnership with East Suffolk Council and introducing ourselves to the community. We are really impressed with the level of investment that has gone into leisure provision within the area. In the current circumstances, maintaining your health and wellbeing has never been so important. We’re extremely passionate about getting more people active and we look forward to managing Waveney Valley Leisure Centre and Waterlane Leisure Centre to the highest possible standard.”
Waveney Valley Leisure Centre, formerly Bungay Pool & Gym, was closed in September 2019 as part of the Council’s ongoing improvement programme for its leisure centres. The centre reopened in October 2020 after undergoing a major £3.4 million refurbishment to bring state-of-the-art leisure facilities to the area which is fit for purpose for the next 20 – 30 years.
Meanwhile, Waterlane Leisure Centre is currently undergoing improvement works as part of the programme, including replacing the equipment and flooring in the gym, upgrading the lighting and adding new flooring in the sports hall as well as repairing showers and decoration throughout. The pool area will also see improvements with plans to empty the pool to repair the teaching pool moveable floor and the pool tiles.
The work is expected to be completed next month and will bring Waterlane Leisure Centre into the East Suffolk family with a strong and vibrant brand, offering some of the best leisure facilities to our communities.
Cllr Burroughes continued: “I want to thank Sentinel Leisure Trust for all the hard work they put into running our leisure centres and helping our communities stay healthy and active. I also want to thank Places Leisure who helped us re-open Waveney Valley Leisure Centre under very challenging circumstances and oversaw the closure of Waterlane Leisure Centre while we were looking for a permanent operator.
“Places will continue to operate our leisure services in the south of the district and we are delighted to have two outstanding operators managing our portfolio of facilities.”