BATLEY SPORTS & TENNIS CENTRE LAUNCHES TECH DRIVEN PLAY AND ACTIVITY HUB

Work has completed at Batley Sports Centre, in Kirklees, creating a 12,000 sq.ft. physical activity and adventure hub to engage youngsters and families of all ages.

Charitable trust Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) has invested £1.5 million in the project, delivered by Alliance Leisure under the UK Leisure Framework. The investment has been committed to create a sustainable physical activity hub which will appeal to a wider section of the local community.

The new facility results from a reconfiguration of the existing site with two indoor courts transformed into a vibrant play and activity zone, utilising the latest technological innovations designed to motivate and engage tech savvy youngsters.

The site has become the first public sector facility to offer TAG active®, a ground-breaking, ‘trainers on’ adventure facility. KAL have named the TAG active® facility ‘  X’ which sits under their ‘Days Out’ brand designed to create awareness of the family attractions available to those within Kirklees and the surrounding West Yorkshire area.

Players must use physical movement, speed, agility and strategy to locate and reach hidden transponder boxes. Once found, the box is ‘Tagged’ using an electronic chip imprinted in a wristband. Each time a player tags a box, points are awarded.

Electronic scoreboards keep a real-time track of how individuals are performing, with music and mood lighting to enhance the atmosphere and create an exciting, stimulating environment which encourages mental and physical prowess.

TAG active® caters for youngsters, with statistics recorded at other centres showing the highest engagement by 11-14 year olds. This facility will be complemented by an Adventure Play zone for toddlers through to seven years old.

The redevelopment of Batley Tennis Centre is part of KAL’s mission to provide engaging, accessible recreation facilities and services which respond to the ever evolving needs of a very diverse community. Batley Tennis Centre is one of 13 leisure sites managed by KAL on behalf of Kirklees Council. Since the formation of the Trust in 2002, more than £20 million has been invested by KAL and Kirklees Council with every surplus pound reinvested into leisure provision.

Barry Turnbull, Business Development at KAL, says: “KAL is absolutely committed to developing and sustaining healthier, happier and fitter communities. The indoor adventure area means we have something new to offer the younger generation. A place where families can come together to enjoy physical activity. Encouraging physical literacy at an early age is absolutely vital if we are to address the growing inactivity crisis. Youngsters need to be provided with spaces which enthuse and encourage movement. This investment has been committed to achieve just that.”

James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance, says: “This site is a great example of a council stepping up to the plate when it comes to engaging the latest innovations to encourage an active community. The Adventure Play zone and TAG X will completely transform the facility, bringing vibrancy, sensorial stimulation and an opportunity for youngsters to test their mental and physical skills in a unique fun, safe and exciting environment.”

Batley Sports and Tennis Centre continues to offer tennis across four outdoor and two indoor courts. Facilities are also supported by changing facilities, a café and seating area.

Tim Harvey, regional director at ISG, which is delivering the construction project on behalf of Alliance Leisure, adds: “Our partners at Alliance Leisure have consistently demonstrated their expertise driving increased footfall to leisure facilities, by redesigning and upgrading leisure provision at existing sites. This is key to making centres more attractive and therefore better utilised by the local communities they serve.”

ALLIANCE SPONSOR TENNIS SCOTLAND

Alliance Leisure are proud to be sponsoring Tennis Scotland in 2018.  As part of the sponsorship members of the Alliance team attended Wimbledon and got the chance to see our British stars in action.  It was unfortunate that Andy Murray had to withdraw from the tournament but the team got to see Jamie Murray get close to retaining his doubles title, losing in the final to Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar.

Alliance completes Larkfield on time and within budget

Alliance are delighted to have completed the new Studios and Gym extension at Larkfield Leisure Centre. The project was delivered on time and within budget by the Alliance development team for TM Active, the forward thinking leisure trust who have now been able to introduce the Immersive Cycle Studio, two new Group Ex Studios and exciting Functional Gym space to members old and new.

The development was officially opened by Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport, Civil Society & Loneliness (pictured with Tom Fairey). Also pictured is TM Active Chief Executive, Martin Guyton, with Ruth Doyle and Tom Fairey from Alliance Leisure.

TWO DAYS OF CELEBRATION AS ALLIANCE LEISURE AND UKACTIVE LAUNCH ACTIVE UPRISING AND ALLIANCE LEISURE IS NAMED A WINNER IN THE AWARDS CELEBRATIONS

To mark the launch of ukactive’s new, multi-day event which celebrates physical activity, Alliance Leisure partnered with ukactive to host an evening of networking, canapés and drinks at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on June 20.

The event was well attended by more than 150 partners and guests, all eager to toast ukactive’s re-formatted flagship annual event.

Active Uprising brought together more than 1,000 leading decision makers for a festival of insight, debate and action across Greater Manchester from June 21 – 23, 2018. With a jam-packed schedule which included thought leadership sessions, networking, insight and innovation, the event was the biggest festival of physical activity ever hosted in the UK.

James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance Leisure, says: “We felt it was really important to support ukactive in their celebrations. The organisation plays a vital role in the growth and development of the physical activity sector. The scale of Active Uprising highlights just how much value the sector is now delivering to individuals and communities across the UK and we are very proud to be a part of it all.”

Steve Ward, CEO at ukactive, says: “Alliance Leisure has been a long term Strategic Partner and investor for the sector with the mission of making more people, more active, more often. The opportunity to work with Alliance and GmActive gives us the opportunity to set the scene for the Active Uprising over the next three years with organisations who have made and will continue to make the initiative a reality’.

Celebrations continued on the evening of June 21, with the new format ukactive black-tie Award ceremony, attended by 800 representatives from the physical activity sector. The event recognised the incredible work of many organisations and individuals passionate about getting more people more active more often. Alliance Leisure was incredibly proud to be named the winner of the Concept, Design and Build category for the innovation and success of the redevelopment works at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre in Lancaster.

Speaking about the Awards, ukactive CEO Steven Ward sys: “Given the growing contribution of physical activity in all aspects of society, it seemed only fitting that we expanded the ukactive Awards to recognise the full breadth of our movement to create an active nation.

“Huge congratulations to Alliance Leisure who has been making such strides to get more people, more active, more often.”

For more information about the awards visit https://www.ukactive.com/ukactive-awards-categories/

ALLIANCE LEISURE LAUNCHES NEW TRAINING AND MARKETING BRAND

In response to the continued growth and success of Alliance Leisure’s client support services, the organisation has relaunched this part of the business under new brand, TA6.

The launch includes a restructure of the division and the introduction of new personnel to head up specialist areas. The move will enable TA6 to operate as a standalone brand, whilst still benefiting from the experience, credibility and operational efficiencies of parent company, Alliance Leisure.

Heading up TA6 will be Paul Woodford, Director of Marketing and Partnership. Paul joined Alliance Leisure in 2009 and has been instrumental in the growth and development of client services. Paul will be responsible for six key areas of service delivery: staff development, sales and retention, creative, digital, insights and the brand’s results-driven support package, the power pack.

Woodford, says: “Over the years we have worked with many operator partners to develop efficient, sustainable, high quality leisure services. Despite proven success, we have struggled to raise the visibility of the division, with many operators incorrectly assuming a need to enter into a design and build agreement with Alliance Leisure to access our marketing and training services. TA6 has been created to enable more effective promotion of the division as a standalone offer.”

As part of the restructure, John Leaver, currently Head of Alliance Digital, will move into the broader role of Head of Marketing, still overseeing Digital. Marina Thomas has been recruited as Head of Training and new joiner, Neil Harrison, previously National Membership Manager at 1Life, will lead a team of client Account Managers.

Woodford adds: “These are exciting times for the business. The name TA6 reflects Alliance Leisure’s roots, being the postcode associated with the business’ first location, back in 1998. TA6 is also a reference to ‘The Alliance 6’ core services. We hope the launch of the new brand will see many clients benefiting from our support over the coming years.”

Alliance Leisure remains the parent company and both brand’s will continue to have a close association but will now also be promoted as separate partnership opportunities.

For more information on TA6 or Alliance Leisure, please visit allianceTA6.co.uk

ALLIANCE LEISURE SCOOPS PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL DESIGN AND BUILD AWARD

The UK’s leading private leisure developer has been announced the winner of the New Concept, Build or Design category at ukactive’s prestigious annual awards.

The awards formed part of the inaugural four-day festival of physical activity entitled ‘Active Uprising’ which took part in Manchester, June 20-23, 2018. Attended by more than 1,000 industry representatives and influencers, the black-tie awards dinner replaced the long standing ukactive FLAME Awards as the UK’s leading celebration of innovation and achievement in the physical activity sector.

Speaking of the win, Sarah Watts, CEO at Alliance Leisure, says: “This award recognises the profound impact the creation of modern physical activity spaces which inspire and motivate, can have on behaviour change across whole communities. At Salt Ayre Leisure Centre in Lancashire, our redesign of a tired, disengaged leisure centre has resulted in a 72 per cent uplift in customer visits.

Working in Partnership with Lancaster City Council, we have breathed new life into facility and created a vibrant environment which is stimulating participation on a mass scale, across all segments of the community. This award brings our success at Salt Ayre into the spotlight and, hopefully, highlights to other local authorities that investment in leisure stock now for the future, and a partnership with us to design facilities that inspire whole communities to be more active for generations to come is achievable, even in these challenging times of austerity.”

For more information and to view imagery of the Salt Ayre project, click here.

HOW TO GET CHILDREN AND TEENS ENGAGED IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

ELEVATE – GUEST SPEAKER

WEDNESDAY MAY 9TH 2018, 1.15pm-14.05pm

At this year’s Elevate James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance Leisure, will explain how leisure providers can play their part in encouraging children and teens to get active by creating innovative, engaging spaces which tap into the motivations of our young, tech savvy, generation. The key lies in helping youngsters find enjoyment, fun and fulfilment through active play and a diverse offering of physical activities.

Back in 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Olympic Games Commission, stated that our children are the ‘least active generation in history.’ This statement is backed up in a study by the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation which states only 1 in 10 girls and 2 in 10 boys aged 14 are meeting official guidelines for physical activity.

It currently costs the UK economy £8.2 billion per year to sustain inactive Britons and with a high percentage of our children entering adulthood physically illiterate this figure is set to rise.

So, what can be done to turn the tide and transform Generative Inactive into Generation Active

James will be joined on the panel by Dan Edwardes, Founder of Parkour Generations and Mark Hardy, Chairman at Association of Play Industries.

This promises to be a session full of insight and ideas so arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

For more information about Elevate and to register visit the Elevate website here

BIRCHWOOD LEISURE CENTRE “RUNWAYS” SEEN BY WW2 VETERAN

A World War 2 veteran from RAF Skellingthorpe 61 Squadron visited the newly re-development Birchwood Leisure Centre last week to see the 61 Squadron “runway”.  The “runway” is a new climbing wall which pays homage to the wartime use of the land on which Birchwood stands and those who failed to return to the base from missions over enemy or enemy-occupied territory.

Pictured are Alan Biggs of the 50 and 61 Squadrons Association and Arthur Anderson, aged 95, WW2 61 Sqdn wireless ops who was based at RAF Skellingthorpe. They were attending the launch at the Leisure Centre of a new DVD “Operation Failed to Return – the men who flew from Skellingthorpe,” attended by the Mayor of Lincoln, Cllr Chris Burke, and the Chair of Skellingthorpe Parish Council, Dr. Sophie Bennett.

Everyone at the launch was allowed to inspect the new runways by Active Nation.

In the second picture Arthur Anderson is seen with the local Mayor.

MILLIONS INVESTED IN PUBLIC LEISURE IN FIRST YEAR OF UK LEISURE FRAMEWORK

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.

Jamie Groves, Denbighshire County Council

“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.

Sarah Watts, Alliance Leisure

“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.

SC2 Development, Rhyl, North Wales

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.