Three local leisure centres in East Northamptonshire, are now being operated by newly appointed Freedom Leisure, on behalf of East Northamptonshire Council.
The new contract to manage The Pemberton Centre, The Nene Centre and Splash Leisure Pool commenced on Saturday 1 April, when Councillors Steven North and Rupert Reichhold met with Freedom Leisure’s mobilisation team, headed up by Operations Director Matt Hunt, at the Nene Centre.
Freedom Leisure is an experienced operator of leisure facilities, with 72 other centres across the UK. As a not-for-profit, independent provident society the company is able to reinvest financial surpluses over and above operating costs to improve local community leisure services.
The organisation was set up with the sole purpose of providing a cost effective way of operating leisure facilities on behalf of Local Authorities, while ensuring a quality service for their communities.
Freedom Leisure has also proposed significant refurbishments which include the installation of new children’s fun pool features at The Nene Centre, the reinstatement of the flume at Splash Leisure Pool, the creation of a new gym and fitness area at Splash Leisure Pool, a phased programme of fitness equipment replacement at The Nene Centre and The Pemberton Centre, indoor children’s climbing experience at The Nene Centre and a new reception and café, including Costa Coffee, at The Nene Centre.
In addition, significant investment will be made into energy saving measures which will help to reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings, to greatly reducing running costs while making them kinder on the environment.
Also in the pipeline is a brand new ‘Active Community’ outreach programme. Freedom Leisure will be working with the Council to devise, develop and implement the brand new programme, which will mean that there really will be something to help everyone in the district to be active.
Of the contract, Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Freedom Leisure Managing Director, says: “We are very pleased to have been selected by East Northamptonshire Council to manage its three wonderful local leisure facilities. This appointment means that there is already the foundation of a strong working partnership in place and it is our intention to help the Council deliver upon its health and wellbeing desires for the district.”
While, Matt Hunt, Freedom Leisure Operations Director, adds: “We wish to assure people that it is not Freedom Leisure’s way to simply enter a new contract and change everything to “the way we do things” – we understand that one size doesn’t fit all, instead we intend to work with existing staff to continue their good work, while developing and improving where we can. Our expert mobilisation team is now onsite to ensure a smooth transition for staff and will be in the centres to gain insight for future proposals.”
Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, Rupert Reichhold, says: “I am delighted that Freedom Leisure has been awarded the new contract to continue to deliver top class leisure facilities in the district. The process to award the contract has involved a considerable amount of work to get the best possible outcome for our residents. We’re all looking forward to working with the Freedom Leisure team over the coming years and ensuring that we continue to deliver the high quality leisure facilities that our residents deserve and expect.”