Work has completed on an £800k investment into the leisure facilities at Exmouth Leisure Centre. The centre, operated by LED Leisure Management, commenced back in October and has seen the transformation of the changing rooms into a modern village-style configuration. A new reception area has also been incorporated into the design. The project has been part funded by £300k through Sport England.
The development of public sector leisure facilities is set to become more efficient and affordable after Denbighshire County Council appointed Alliance Leisure to lead its new UK Leisure Framework.
As the Leisure Development Partner of the new Framework, Alliance Leisure will facilitate the delivery of design, refurbishment, construction, equipping and development of leisure centres, theatres, play facilities, recreation facilities and sports facilities across the UK public sector and will also provide marketing support.
The announcement comes as funding cuts are forcing many local authorities to divert cash from leisure to maintain essential services leaving much of the UK’s ageing public leisure stock overdue for redevelopment.
The new Framework makes 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. It follows the successful relationship between Alliance Leisure and Denbighshire County Council during which has seen the development of eight projects over the last four years.
“The introduction of this Leisure Framework is hugely significant,” says Councillor Hugh Evans, Leader of Denbighshire County Council. “Traditionally, procuring development works is a costly and time consuming headache for local authority leisure providers. The Framework will simplify the whole process making it more cost and time efficient. It will also ensure only suppliers with proven track records are engaged, mitigating the risk involved when selecting delivery partners to ensure value for money to the public sector.”
The Framework is open to any public sector organisation including local authorities, leisure trusts and private limited companies operating leisure facilities on behalf of UK public sector clients.
Sarah Watts, CEO, Alliance Leisure, says: “Denbighshire County Council is leading the way with this Framework, which is focused on reducing costs and improving efficiencies for both the client and the contractor, ensuring a larger percentage of the client’s overall budget is allocated to the development project, rather than the procurement process.
“The option to use the Framework’s marketing services is also unique. Alliance Leisure is able to provide these services on an income-share basis, without the need for any upfront payment. The client is then only required to make payments when pre-agreed income targets are met.”
To reflect the individuality of every project, Alliance Leisure has selected a number of contractors, architects, specialist leisure advisors and equipment suppliers, to provide Framework services across a number of categories including; feasibility studies and business planning, design management and services, construction, sourcing and provision of private funding, marketing, branding and sales development and equipment provision.
Procured in accordance with EU Procurement Regulations by Denbighshire County Council, the Framework term is four years, commencing on February 1, 2017 and the Board comprises of Officers from Denbighshire County Council and representatives from Alliance Leisure. The Leisure Framework has a potential value of £750 million and the maximum value of any project awarded under the Framework is £20 million.
As part of a 10-year development partnership between Lancaster City Council and Alliance Leisure, the first phase of the exciting £5m redevelopment of Salt Ayre Leisure Centre has now been completed.
The project has been delivered in partnership with specialist leisure developer Createability, who have carried out the construction works on the 6605 sq m centre, alongside architects Bignell, Shacklady, Ewing, with the consortium delivering the project from concept stage through to the completion working closely with the Council appointed team.
Alliance Leisure’s development lead, James Foley, says: “The whole ethos for the project has been to create a vibrant environment that stimulates participation by reinvigorating the traditional approach to the health, fitness and wellbeing offer with new technology and solutions.”
The first phase of works is now complete and open to the public. It includes a ground-breaking Les Mills Immersive Studio featuring the Trip ™, a new 80 station fitness suite, a redesigned and fully catered barista-style café, an adventure play area and XHeight climbing wall. The second phase of the project is now well underway.
Simon Kirby, Sports and Leisure Manager at Lancaster City Council, says: “Our aim has been to create an inspirational destination so members of our community and from across the region can come and enjoy a wide range of new and innovative physical activities. This is exactly what Alliance Leisure, Createability and the team of specialist contractors have achieved. We are already experiencing a significant increase in usage with over 300 new fitness members joining since opening a few weeks ago. We anticipate this will rise even further when the project completes in the summer.”
Following market testing and an in-depth fitness product review, Alliance Leisure worked seamlessly with Precor as principal equipment supplier. The gym showcases cardiovascular pieces including the new Experience™ Series EFX® 800 with converging CrossRamp® and fitted with the latest P82 consoles, Discovery ™ Series Power and Half Racks, a range of strength machines and a free standing Queenex functional training unit.
The centre is the first owner-operated local authority facility in the country to offer the full Les Mills Immersive Studio experience. Participants are inspired by cinema quality, live concert experiences and interactive gaming, held in this bespoke themed space and led by live instructors.
Ian Cotgrave, Managing Director of Createability, comments: “This project is one of several currently being undertaken throughout the UK and show cases what refurbishment of older building stock can achieve. The building work at Salt Ayre Sports Centre will totally transform the facility into one of the most outstanding leisure amenities in the area and we are delighted to have worked with the team to achieve this.”
Phase two of the project launched in November when works began on the installation of Europe’s first Flight Tower, a multi-level outdoor tower and epic adventure installation. The ‘Gravity’ concept, brought about by Alliance’s research from successful centres in the US and built by expert adventure builders, Hangfast, will invite people to abseil, zip-line or free-fall from its 60ft platform offering an adrenaline rush like no other.
The final phase of the development will see the design and build of a health and wellbeing hub, housed in a new 540 sq m extension. Utilising the latest innovations in relaxation and holistic treatments, such as a water mill sauna, the spa is scheduled to complete this summer.
In addition to the development project, Alliance Leisure has also entered into a client support partnership with the council to provide support across a variety of core functions including marketing, staff training and sales services to ensure the continued operational and financial success of the project.
Sarah Watts, CEO, Alliance Leisure concludes: “Working hand in hand with the council and our construction partners we will continue to deliver exciting, diverse and sustainable leisure facilities for the whole community. When this project completes in a few months, the people of Lancaster will have a leisure provision to be proud of.”
Bradley Stoke Lifestyle Centre was unveiled to the public on Thursday 5th January 2017 by 2016 Paralympian Gold Medallist Andy Lewis who had previously used the centre as a training venue leading up to the Olympics. Andy brought along his gold medal to show to the local school children who were also attending the opening event.
The £3.6m major development, delivered by Alliance Leisure and Createability, sees an extensive soft play zone and adventure climbing experience added to the existing facilities. Other investments in the gym, cafe and studios have made the centre a modern, fit-for-purpose community destination for 2017.
Commenting at the event, Andy said “This is a fantastic centre. I wish I had such great facilities on my doorstep. The support from the leisure centre has been awesome from start to finish and I couldn’t have achieved the gold without them. The new facilities look amazing.”
Mark Crutchley, chief executive of Circadian Trust, which manages and operates the centre on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council said: “This has been a major project that has taken us almost a year to complete. We have kept to our original schedules and so I would like to thank our customers who have been patient throughout the process. I think everyone will agree that the results have been worth it and demonstrates our commitment to investing in our centres for the community and the future.
“As a not for profit organisation, we can continue to reinvest money back into Active Centres across South Gloucestershire, which means responding to demand and offering our customers a top-class leisure experience.
“The adventure climbing wall has been a big hit with over 4,000 visits since it was open a couple of months ago.”
Alliance are proudly sponsoring this year’s ukactive National Summit event on the 9th November.
Keynote speakers to include Simon Stevens, Nicola Blackwood, Jennie Price, plus Dr Chris Van Tulleken and Sir Muir Gray
ukactive today unveiled the detailed agenda for National Summit 2016, featuring an unprecedented line-up of thought leaders from the worlds of physical activity, health, and politics.
Taking place at Westminster’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre on 9 November, this year’s Summit combines networking and highly-topical breakout sessions with an impressive collection of keynotes, including a speech from the chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens.
As head of Europe’s largest single employer, Simon Stevens is expected to discuss the future of the health service and the important role of prevention in helping to shape it. The NHS England CEO has taken the lead on this theme by unveiling a raft of workplace wellness initiatives, including a £600m national incentive fund to help frontline NHS staff stay fighting fit through a range of physical activity and healthy eating offerings.
The central theme for this year’s Summit will be Physical Activity: Always Moving Forward, exploring how the sector can support the NHS to deliver its ambitions for a healthy, active nation and ensure physical activity is at the heart of the preventative health agenda.
The Summit will feature a series of breakout sessions bringing together leading public health and physical activity experts to explore key topics such as delivering physical activity as part of the government’s new strategies, the role of prevention in the future of the NHS, and the professionalisation of the physical activity
sector. In addition to Simon Stevens, there will be keynotes from Public Health Minister Nicola Blackwood, Sport England CEO Jennie Price, ukactive Chair Tanni Grey-Thompson and ukactive Executive Director Steven Ward.
There will also be a joint session led by Professor Sir Muir Gray CBE, Chief Knowledge Officer to the NHS, and Chris Van Tulleken, a doctor and TV presenter. Having recently featured in the high-profile BBC documentary The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, the pair will deliver a topical talk looking at the importance of the
preventative agenda in cutting down Britain’s dependence on prescription pills.
As the marquee event in the physical activity calendar, Summit 2016 will gather more than 500 thought leaders on public health and physical activity, offering invaluable networking opportunities and the chance to gain unique insights into the wider issues facing the sector.
The event will also serve as the launchpad for ukactive’s latest report, Blueprint for an Active Britain: Milestones Review. The document will build on the foundations laid by last year’s Blueprint for an Active Britain report, assessing the key areas of progress to date. These have included the adoption of many Blueprint recommendations in the recent physical activity strategies put forward by the government and Sport England. Backed by a broad coalition of key stakeholders, the new report will make a series of new policy recommendations for the year ahead and outline key areas of priority the physical activity sector.
Looking forward to the event, ukactive CEO Steven Ward said: “We felt it would be difficult to top last year’s Summit in terms of quality, but the line-up of heavy hitters due to speak on the day will take our marquee political event to new heights.
“Summit is a golden opportunity to establish key business contacts, glean insights from top-tier keynote speakers and take part in breakout sessions on major topics affecting our sector, such as delivering on the government’s new strategies, behaviour change among society’s least active and embedding more movement in the workplace.
“The QEII will be packed with leaders from the public, private and third sectors, coming together to focus their collective firepower on the pressing need to create a more active nation.”
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, legendary Paralympian and chair of ukactive said: “I am delighted to have Simon Stevens – Chief Executive of NHS England delivering a keynote at our National Summit in London on the 9th November 2016. This is a seminal moment for the physical activity sector and symbolic of its importance on the frontline in the fight against the dangers of sedentary lifestyles.
“Whereas last year was about setting a vision for an active nation, this year we turn our focus to how we can develop and deliver this practically, connecting government and stakeholders from the public, private and third sectors to ensure that physical activity is at the heart of the preventative public health agenda.”
Alliance Leisure has been appointed as part of a four year framework agreement to develop new facilities and refurbish existing leisure facilities in Denbighshire County Council.
The Council had already made a firm commitment to continue improving and enhancing its leisure offer across the county and is bucking the national trend by actually investing in its facilities during difficult financial times.
Alliance had been appointed to a previous framework and was recognised as bringing external expertise and innovation to the design and construction of facilities. The Council then advertised this latest framework on the open market and attracted significant interest from major construction companies.
The framework will be open to all UK local authorities, with Denbighshire as the lead authority.
Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Assets, said: “Our aim is to work with our development partner to design, build and fund capital projects and ensure that we deliver the right projects, on time and within budget.
“We have an excellent track record of working with Alliance on the previous framework and delivered successful projects at Ruthin and Denbigh leisure centres, as well as the redevelopment of the Nova, Prestatyn.
“The company itself has a wealth of experience in design, project management and an innovative approach to developments. The appointment of Alliance as our development partner on the previous framework was recognised as sector-leading and provided facilities that are fit for the 21st Century and improved participation opportunities and PE standards in our dual-use sites. This, in turn, helped improve the health and well-being of residents.
“We are delighted to be awarding the latest framework to Alliance after a stringent and open tendering process – this will help us to continue investing in facilities and develop our vision for improved leisure facilities to benefit all”.
Paul Cluett, Managing Director of Alliance, said: “Alliance Leisure are delighted to have been appointed as the Partner to the Council to deliver the Framework for the provision of leisure developments and related services over the next four years.
“Alliance has a track record of delivering sustainable, ambitious and innovative enhancements to local authority leisure services throughout the UK. Indeed, locally schemes such as the Nova redevelopment have already shown what can be achieved, and now we will be able to bring this experience to Councils across Wales, England, Scotland and N Ireland. This ground breaking Framework model being delivered by DCC will also ensure that the Authority receives the public awareness it is rightly due for helping other Councils deliver services as successfully it has done.
Exmouth Leisure Centre’s phase 2 development is now underway as part of the £800k investment in the facility. This phase will see the refurbishment of the wet changing areas and is part-funded by £180k from Sport England and £180k from East Devon District Council. LED Leisure Management Ltd are providing the remaining funds.