Leisure Management Outsourcing - Presentation by Freedom Leisure
- Meeting of Leisure, Parks & Waste Management (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee, Tuesday, 26th March, 2019 6.00 pm (Item 19.)
The Committee received a presentation from Mike Worsnop, Head of Business Development & Active Communities for Freedom Leisure.
The presentation focused on the first 12 months of Freedom Leisure operation and commitments delivered so far. It included the introduction of free swimming for all under 5’s and the soon to be introduced free swimming for all over 75 year olds.
The presentation then gave an update of the refurbishment of Burntwood Leisure Centre which included an investment for energy saving at the site along with equipment and the Costa reception area. This was followed by information regarding the fee payable from the Council to Freedom and noted that this would reverse and become a fee received in 2020/21.
Balanced scorecard information was presented to show performance in participation at both Burntwood and Friary Grange centres. It was reported that the Council monitored these scorecards and as this was the first year of operation, these scorecards would set the baseline to compare to in future years.
Health and Wellbeing was discussed and it was reported that a new Active Communities Manager had begun work at Freedom and developed their development plan for 2018-2020 in partnership with the Council and other parties and clubs. It was agreed to send this plan to the Committee.
Members asked how targeting for under participating demographics were carried out as there was concern that wards known for deprivation were not being targeted. It was reported that Freedom worked closely with the Sports development team at the Council who know the relevant areas and that Freedom also used ‘know your patch’ and conducted consultations with schools and clubs.
Members discussed further areas of improvement that they wished to be considered by Freedom including the showers and toilets at BLC. It was also requested that a changing areas changing space for disabled users be looked at and it was agreed to investigate this further as Freedom do offer this at other facilities they manage. Car parking provision was also considered as needing improvements especially blue badge provision as well as parent and child spaces especially if participation was to grow.
When asked, it was reported that competitor gyms opening in both the Lichfield and Burntwood areas were known about however the offerings and price points were different so there was no concern regarding losing users.
Friary Grange Leisure Centre was discussed further and it was noted that there had been further meetings with Staffordshire County Council and the school as it is move to academy status. It was reported that a business case as to whether there should be future investment was being worked on and would be reported as soon as possible. It was asked what Freedom’s position would be and if the centre would be viable if there was no capital investment in the pool and it was reported that it was a known risk and Freedom were supporting the Council to make informed decisions. It was asked if a further graph showing fee payable or receivable could be provided to include FGLC as well as BLC.
Freedom Leisure were thanked for their attendance and input to the Committee.
RESOLVED: The information received be noted.