As the UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Council and Managed by Denbighshire Leisure, enters its fourth year, Jamie Groves, Managing Director at Denbighshire Leisure, reflects on its success in the Public Sector Build Journal. Read the full article here: https://psbjmagazine.com/features/leisure/7059/uk-leisure-framework-delivers-more-than-40m-in-leisure-investment/
Working in consultation with Alliance Leisure through the UK Leisure Framework, the ambitious proposals aim to bring leisure provision in line with the needs of a modern day community.
As part of the plans, outdated facilities in Seaham, Chester-le-Street and Bishop Auckland are proposed to be replaced by new multi-facility provisions, with modernisation proposals also approved at several other leisure facilities across the county.
In addition, facility provision and programming across Durham will undergo a full review.
“We have already been very successful in introducing pioneering new ways to get active at our leisure centres. It’s important that we build on this by continuing to follow changing tastes and trends in the leisure industry if we are to increase participation in physical activity in the county and provide people with the type of services they want,” says Cllr Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration.
The council will work with residents and centre users to decide how services should look before finalising any plans for its leisure centres.
Leicester City Council has enlisted the support of Alliance Leisure to convert a sports hall into a flexible workout space. All works are being delivered via the UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Council and Managed by Denbighshire Leisure.
The project is part of a £2.3 million leisure regeneration scheme, which incorporates redevelopment works at three leisure centres across the city.
Cossington Street Sports Centre and Evington Leisure Centre will undergo modernisation to create physical activity environments more in-line with the needs of the communities they service, while Aylestone Leisure Centre will involve a remodelling of the fitness space.
“The current facility mix no longer reflects the needs of the community,” said Andrew Beddow, head of sport services at Leicester City Council.
“In consultation with Alliance Leisure, through the UK Leisure Framework, we have designed a solution which will solve these issues and enable more local people to benefit from our leisure services.”
Works will roll out from this month, starting at Cossington Street Sports Centre, and aim to complete by the end of this year.
The Alliance Leisure development team includes Saunders Boston Architects and Etec Contract Services.
This is the first time a project of this kind has been successfully executed in the UK and forms part of a £7.4m refurbishment and extension of the centre.
Delivered by Alliance Leisure Services as part of its UK Leisure Framework, the multi-phased project also includes a new 60-station gym, exercise and group cycling studios, a toning suite, children’s play area and café.
Built to ASA standards, the five-lane pool is accompanied by the spa comprising a sauna, steamroom and spa bath.
Monmouth has been without a public swimming pool for some years and – according to Bob Greenland, MCC cabinet member with responsibility for leisure – building the pool inside an existing facility was “the most cost-effective way” to create a crucial community asset.
“This project has been three years in the making,” Greenland said.
“At a time when other councils were closing leisure centres, we committed to this new modern facility and we now see the fulfilment of our promise to the people of Monmouth and the surrounding areas.
“Members of the leisure centre’s staff have demonstrated faith in a time of uncertainty, but they can now look forward to a bright future.”
Julia Goddard, senior business development manager at Alliance Leisure, added: “Squeezing the swimming pool into the sports hall was the only way we could provide the wide range of facilities required by MCC to meet local need.
“This created a host of challenges equating to the construction industry’s equivalent of squeezing a ship into a bottle, but the results are amazing.
“Procuring the project through the UK Leisure Framework resulted in major efficiencies to the build process and allowed us to work with our trusted partners ISG to develop an innovative solution for this incredibly complicated project.”
The UK Leisure Framework has facilitated the investment of millions of pounds into public sector sports and leisure facilities in its first year.
Launched by the County Council in February 2017, with Alliance Leisure as leisure development partner, the framework aims to help public sector bodies transform their leisure offer with successful and sustainable facilities.
“The focus on developing the right business solution, rather than just the buildings, provides much more opportunity for innovation, as well as providing confidence that completed projects will be popular with the public and achieve their income targets,” says Jamie Groves, Head of Facilities, Assets & Housing at Denbighshire County Council.
In the first 12 months of the framework, developments with an estimated value of £27m have been signed. Five leisure projects have completed with another six developments currently on site.
The framework was borne out of the success of Denbighshire County Council’s first partnership with Alliance Leisure, which saw the investment of nearly £10m in upgrading facilities after years of under investment. Now it is helping other local authorities do the same by removing the burdens of public procurement.
According to research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the UK public sector procurement process is the most expensive in the EU with some of the longest public sector purchasing processes, which can make the business of developing leisure facilities both costly and time-consuming. The UK Leisure Framework looks to reduce the procurement process significantly and ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget.
“By focusing on reducing costs and improving efficiencies for both the client and the contractor, the UK Leisure Framework ensures a larger percentage of the client’s overall budget is allocated to the development project, rather than the procurement process. This allows local authorities to progress developments that almost certainly would have proved prohibitively expensive under traditional public procurement procedures,” says Sarah Watts, CEO of Alliance Leisure.
Projects signed under the framework in the last 12 months include SC2, a £14.8m new leisure complex offering a 13,000sq ft leisure pool with flumes, slides and water play features, a TAG active adventure zone, changing village and café and bar area expected to draw over 35,000 extra visitors per year to the area. Other projects include a £7.4m scheme to refurbish and extend Monmouth Leisure Centre, the refurbishment of Rhyl Leisure Centre, new 3G pitches at St Asaph Leisure Centre and the extension and refurbishment of hospitality facilities at Stadiwm Zip World. In the last two months two further projects have commenced on site: a £2.4m investment by Cheltenham Borough Council in partnership with The Cheltenham Trust and a £1.4m health and fitness development with Flintshire County Council in partnership with Aura Trust.
The redevelopment of Cheltenham’s leisure centre is gathering pace as the project enters detailed design paving the way for building work to begin this autumn, as part of an ambitious plan to develop a Sport and Play Hub for the town.
The Cheltenham Trust, which manages and develops Leisure at Cheltenham on behalf of Cheltenham Borough Council, has appointed development partner Alliance Leisure to conduct the detailed design work under the new UK Leisure Framework as part of a five year strategy that will encourage greater participation across all Trust venues by local people, promoting and attracting visitors to the town.
This phase 1 development aims to meet the growing and changing demands on the facilities at Leisure at Cheltenham. It will enable more people to get active, provide more opportunities for families and young people and those enjoying and working on their health and fitness.
The proposals include extending the gym to expand the health and fitness offer increasing the centre’s capacity to meet the needs of health-related activities, such as GP referral and physiotherapy programmes.
Two of the centre’s five squash courts will be converted into two new studios, while the sports changing area will be upgraded with the inclusion of new sauna and steam room facilities. The project also includes the conversion of the existing health suite into an aquatics play space, developing and extending the aquatics opportunities for families with young children and allowing the commercial hire of the space for children’s parties.
The project is being funded by a loan of up to £1.5m from Cheltenham Borough Council.
The improvements will ensure Leisure at Cheltenham continues to meet customer expectations in a highly competitive local market. Aside from an upgrade in gym equipment in 2013, there has been no significant investment in the centre since it re-opened in 2008 following severe flood damage.
Peter Harkness, Chair of The Cheltenham Trust said: “Cheltenham is already recognised regionally and nationally for its culture and leisure offering, and we want to continue to build on this, creating a unique place that contributes to the social, cultural and economic value of the town and enriching the lives of residents and visitors. The Sport and Play Hub at Leisure at Cheltenham is an important first step in realising this.”
Julie Finch CEO for The Cheltenham Trust commented: “We know that this project is just the start of the development of what will be an absolute game changer as the Sport and Play Hub develops and the Trust creates a regional destination which will be open not only to the people of Cheltenham but people far and wide.”
“Alliance delivers projects throughout the UK, but as a south west-based company we are excited to be working with such a forward-thinking trust and local authority in improve a centre in our home region and will be looking to engage local suppliers and trades as much as possible. Our MD Paul Cluett ran Cheltenham’s leisure facilities some 20 years ago, and so is particularly looking forward to delivering these great enhancements,” says Julia Goddard, Business Development Manager at Alliance Leisure.
The UK Leisure Framework launched in February to make it easier and more cost-effective for public sector leisure providers to scope, develop and deliver physical leisure developments as well as cultural and marketing related services.
Since it took over the running of Leisure at Cheltenham, Cheltenham Town Hall, Pittville Pump Room, Prince of Wales Stadium and The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, The Cheltenham Trust has focused on improving the quality of customer and audience experience through a number of investment programmes, resulting in significant annual savings to Cheltenham Borough Council of £1.025m on revenue expenditure over a five year period delivered through efficiencies and income growth.
Aura Leisure and Libraries Limited, in partnership with Flintshire County Council, has announced plans to redevelop and extend the fitness and leisure facilities at Mold Leisure Centre, Mold, North Wales.
Located in the grounds of Mold Alun School and Ysgol Maes Garmon School, Mold Leisure Centre is a dual-purpose site, serving pupils during school hours and the local community outside of these times.
In December 2017, the Council entered into a contract to invest £1.4 million to double the size of the current fitness facility and create a bespoke group exercise studio. The investment will be used to enhance the current leisure provision and create a sustainable physical activity offering for the future.
Works will begin this month (February 2018). On the ground floor, two largely unused squash courts will be transformed into a vibrant fitness space, adding 270sqm to the existing gym floor. In addition to the creation of a 43-station, Technogym work out area and a new, private consultation room, an Origin functional modular rig with various ancillary functional equipment, will create extensive functional training opportunities.
A mezzanine floor will be constructed above the new fitness space to house a dedicated exercise studio. This will enable a significant expansion of the Centre’s group exercise programme, helping to engage a much wider segment of the community. Improvements to the active spaces will be complemented by a refurbishment of both the male and female changing areas.
Having conducted detailed design and cost certainty assessments in August 2017, Alliance Leisure submitted a full developmet proposal in October 2017, following feasibility work undertaken by FMG Consulting. Subsequently, Alliance was appointed Leading Development Partner by Aura, a charitable, not-for-profit, employee-owned organisation responsible for managing the majority of Flintshire leisure centres and libraries.
Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager at Alliance Leisure, says: “Mold Leisure Centre plays a vital role in creating safe, affordable access to leisure facilities and services. The expansion of the fitness offering, made possible by this investment, will widen appeal to new segments of the community, encouraging more people to incorporate regular physical activity into their daily lives.”
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, says:
“I am delighted to see these improvements which I am sure will prove popular with local pupils and residents. It’s great to see this continued investment in the county’s sports and leisure facilities.”
Also commenting on the investment, Christine Edwards, Board Chair for Aura, says: “We are delighted with the investment into Mold Leisure Centre, in partnership with Flintshire County Council, as we continue on our journey as a new employee-owned, not-for-profit organisation.
“This development will contribute to Aura’s purpose ‘to benefit the community by improving quality of life through the provision of culture and leisure opportunities that improve mental health and physical well-being.’ We want to increase affordable ways to keep active by growing our services in Mold so they are sustainable for the future and work closely with all our community members from an early age.”
Tom Williams, Mold Leisure Centre Manager concludes: “The team at Mold Leisure Centre is immensely excited about the upcoming development. This will enable us to expand on the services we currently provide to the community and continue to cater for customers of all ages. The addition of a second first floor studio and the expansion of the fitness suite will support the delivery of new activities for both the community and the two adjoining high schools.”
Circadian Trust is to introduce new community services following the £1.5m extension and refurbishment of Longwell Green Lifestyle Centre delivered by Alliance Leisure.
South Gloucestershire Council funded the redevelopment of the centre, which is one of five lifestyle centres and a dual-use sports centre operated by Circadian Trust across South Gloucestershire.
Continuing its partnership with Alliance Leisure Services, the appointed Framework development partner, the work was carried out by leisure, design and build specialist Createability on behalf of Circadian Trust. Conducted in three phases, the 10-month project included a new entrance, changing rooms – including disability changing – and toilets, group exercise studio, an extension to the gym and the refurbishment of the main foyer and reception area.
The investment will enable the centre to meet growing public demand. The gym, which was at full capacity, now offers an additional 25 stations and the introduction of an exercise studio means members no longer have to use alternative facilities at Active Kingswood. Instead, the Trust has introduced a timetable of classes designed to cater for local demand from people of all ages and fitness levels. These include Les Mills sessions, yoga, Pilates as well as a range of virtual classes.
The Trust is also currently developing a GP referral scheme, which will make full use of the new facilities.
“Our mission at Circadian Trust is ‘Inspiring Active Lifestyles’ and we use our knowledge, expertise and support to encourage people to become active and lead a healthy lifestyle. The redevelopment at Longwell Green gives us even more facilities, equipment and opportunity to deliver this mission,” said Ben Beasley, Director of Commercial Development at Circadian Trust.
“We are really pleased to have supported another growing leisure trust that is putting the community at the heart of its service. Creating modern, attractive facilities that meet the changing needs of a savvy fitness user is key with these developments,” said Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager at Alliance Leisure.
Claudia Fragapane, the Olympic gymnast, star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and local resident, officially opens the centre on Wednesday 31st January.
A £7.4 million project to refurbish and extend Monmouth Leisure Centre in South Wales has started on site. Alliance Leisure is delivering the scheme for Monmouthshire County Council under the UK Leisure Framework.
Opened in 2000, the centre is dated and in much need of renovation. The project, which is being funded by a combination of local project developments and borrowing, will future-proof the centre’s facilities while meeting demand in under-represented markets in the area such as health and wellbeing and children’s play.
ISG has been appointed by Alliance Leisure as principle build contractor for the multi-phased scheme. Phase one includes the refurbishment of the centre to include a new 65-station gym, exercise studio, group cycling studio and changing areas. A new toning suite will increase the provision for sedentary people and those suffering with poor health conditions. Due to complete in summer 2018, phase one also includes a new steel-frame, glass-fronted extension housing a children’s play area and café.
The second phase, scheduled to open in winter 2018, includes a new 25m, five lane swimming pool, a health suite comprising a sauna, steam room and spa bath, and multi-purpose room. Designed to Amateur Swimming Association standards, the pool will be suitable for local galas with enhanced viewing areas and better facilities for youngsters to learn to swim.
A temporary four court sports hall with changing rooms and toilets will accommodate centre users as well as students from Monmouth Comprehensive School while the project is ongoing.
Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager at Alliance Leisure, says: “This project is the result of an established relationship with Monmouthshire County Council. We’ve been in discussions with Monmouthshire for some time, but it was the launch of the UK Leisure Framework earlier this year that allowed the council to proceed with the development in the most cost-effective way.”
Cllr Bob Greenland, deputy leader of Monmouthshire County Council, says: “Gone are the days when public money can be ploughed into leisure, into what some would regard as non-essential services. Yet with health issues on the top of everyone’s agenda, leisure services play a pivotal role in improving public health. The public sector needs to approach the issue with a commercial perspective, which is what we are doing in Monmouthshire.
“Our recent wellbeing assessment tells us we have to plan for the future and invest in preventative programmes to ensure our communities take steps to a healthier life. This project will increase our exercise, swimming and fitness offer allowing us to engage with more of our community.”
Denbighshire County Council is investing £850,000 in the redevelopment of the changing and fitness provision at Rhyl Leisure Centre.
The first phase of work, which encompassed the complete refurbishment of the swimming pool changing rooms finished in summer 2017, with phase 2 due to commence in early February 2018. This will see the centre refurbish the upstairs gym, create the largest, dedicated functional training space in the area by converting an unused drama studio and a new group cycling studio. A high quality dedicated changing area for members will also be introduced. This phase represents an investment of over £600,000, plus equipment.
Jamie Groves, Head of Facilities, Assets and Housing at Denbighshire County Council, says: “The functional training space will offer the community a facility like nothing else in the local area. We will create an environment which motivates and inspires both trainers and users.
“A full range of functional kit, from suspension trainers to kettle bells, battle ropes to Bulgarian bags, will be complemented by an Origin, functional rig. This will support individual training programmes and also host instructor-led, small group, training sessions. Our ambition is always to get more people, more active, more often and this format of training will help us to better engage new and existing users.”
A new, dedicated cycle studio, housing Technogym bikes, will also be added to the provision, offering instructed and virtual classes to help users train at times convenient to them.
The works, managed by Alliance Leisure as part of a long-term framework agreement, are due to complete in June this year. Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager at Alliance Leisure, says: “A phased approach to the developments will ensure the community has access to fitness facilities throughout the project. Once the functional space is complete, works will begin in the main gym space upstairs. The Centre plays a vital role in the provision of leisure facilities for the local community and this investment will safeguard its future as a physical activity hub for many years to come.”
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