Alliance Leisure Services (ALS) drives growth in the North with the promotion of Tom Gardner to the Business Development team. With seven years’ experience within ALS, Tom has led the National Impact Sales Team whilst acting as a Strategic Partnership Manager to clients across the UK.
The new role sees Gardner move seamlessly from ALS’s client support division, TA6, to business development, where he will help support and grow ALS’s portfolio of public sector partners with a view to regenerating leisure provision in the North of the UK. The varied role will see him work with ALS clients to deliver business planning, feasibility studies as well as the design, build and delivery of leisure facilities.
James Foley, Commercial Director of Alliance, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tom to the Business Development team to help drive our activity in the region. Tom has considerable experience of the client support side of the business, so moving into business development is a natural next step for him and will help us accelerate our growth in the North of England and Scotland.”
Tom Gardner comments: “I am hugely grateful for the opportunities that working for such a progressive company as Alliance has provided me. I have fulfilled a variety of roles, thoroughly enjoying each challenge and look forward to developing further in the Business Development team. This is an exciting avenue for me. I am hugely passionate about our sector, improving the health of our nation and being able to assist in the development of leisure provision is, for me, something to be proud of.”
Alliance Leisure have successfully completed a £1.5m transformation of Haverhill Leisure Centre for West Suffolk Council and Abbeycroft Leisure. The project has already been hailed a huge success, delivered on time and within budget via the UK Leisure Framework.
New users of all ages packed out the new facilities on opening weekend. The centre remained open to the public throughout the 7 month build project which included:
XHeight Adventure Climbing
new enlarged Gym
Paddy & Scott’s café
Self-Centre Health & Wellbeing facility, including 3 x Studios and 7 x Treatment Rooms
New Reception & circulation areas
New Sports Hall floor for the local school!
Watch this space for more photos of this outstanding development, and the full story…
In a bid to get more children and adults more active, Carmarthenshire County Council has invested almost half a million pounds to reinvigorate its leisure provision and create new inspiring spaces for all age groups.
Obesity is a huge problem in Wales . According to the National Survey of Wales (2016-2017), 59 per cent of adults are overweight and 23 per cent are obese. The Child Measurement Programme also reports 26 per cent of reception aged children are obese compared to 22 per cent in England.
Councillor Peter Hughes-Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Leisure, says: “We need to get the population of Wales moving. To do this we must provide inspiring, accessible and diverse activity spaces. Earlier this year, we engaged Alliance Leisure to evaluate the current offer at Carmarthen Leisure Centre and to provide advice and guidance on what could be done to encourage more of the local population to visit. Alliance Leisure has extensive experience of injecting new life into tired leisure facilities and we were excited to explore what could be achieved in Carmarthen. When we saw the plans and worked through the financials, we knew this was a project that we had to get underway.”
In August 2018 works began on transforming the under-utilised gymnastics hall into an inspiring, 3-tier, 210 square metre children’s play area and café.
The new environment has been supplied by industry experts, Play Revolution, and is designed to encourage children aged 0 to 12 years to climb, hide and slide their way around a matrix of visually stimulating features including tunnels, stepping stones, rope bridges and slides. The area also incorporates a dedicated area for 0-3 year olds. The play space is supported by a new café and lounge area where parents can gather to supervise their children whilst enjoying a range of high quality snacks and beverages.
Carl Daniels, Senior Actif Sport and Leisure Manager, says: “Before the development the gymnastics hall welcomed around £4,000 profit per year. In our first month of opening, the new play area is proving to be on target to generate circa £80k income in play centre.
It’s not just the youngsters who have been treated to new facilities. The development has also created a new spin studio. Located in Carmarthen Leisure Centres it’s kitted out with 30 top of the range IC7 Life Fitness spin bikes, this 85 square metre facility has been equipped with state of the art audio and lighting systems to create a stimulating ride like nothing else on offer in the local area.
Carl Daniels, Senior Actif Sport and Leisure Manager adds: “The new cycle studio is awesome and out shines any other facility in the area. The community has fully embraced the experience. We have had to significantly expand the provision to meet demand, but with such high quality non-instructed/virtual classes through the Myride® system we can increase class numbers without a significant increase in costs.”
The development works completed this month and were managed through the UK Leisure Framework, owned and operated by Denbighshire District County Council with Alliance Leisure as lead contractor.
Julia Goddard, Senior Business Development Manager and project lead at Alliance Leisure concludes: “This project has given the leisure centre a new lease of life and made leisure services available to new audiences who were otherwise disengaged. The play area in particular adds a whole new dimension to the offering. In addition to providing a safe, secure space for children to play and explore, it also offers an attractive space for people to meet and socialise.”
South Somerset District Council has appointed leisure development specialists, Alliance Leisure, to work with multi award-winning architecture and building consultancy practice, AHR, to build a brand-new leisure and community facility in Chard’s Town Centre. The new leisure and community facilities will be at the heart of the Chard Regeneration project.
Julia Goddard, Senior Business development Manager at Alliance Leisure, said: “Over the next few months we will work closely with architects AHR to produce outline plans for the overall development. We will also create full design plans for the new leisure centre, aiming for submission by July 2019. Once planning permissions are granted, works will start on the demolition of the factories and warehouses.”
Karle Burford, director at AHR, said “We are thrilled to be working with the Council on the proposals to bring forward a mixed-use community scheme, redeveloping the historic Boden Mill site that includes the former ACI factory site.
Our shared vision to instil the historic nature of the town within the design is integral to the project, and we look forward to harmonising the old with the new. The first phase of the scheme will be designing the brand-new leisure centre, with modern facilities for families to enjoy for years to come.”
The new leisure centre will offer a diverse array of facilities to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the community. These are likely to include: a 25 metre swimming pool; a gym; group exercise studios; an adventure play area; changing rooms and a café.
Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme and Deputy Leader of South Somerset District Council, said: “Feedback from a series of public consultations has revealed that people want the development to include: a leisure centre with swimming pool; more places to eat and socialise; improved leisure opportunities for young people; green open spaces and opportunities for small, independent retailers to thrive. We are working with Alliance Leisure to help plan and build this vision.
Alex Parmley the Chief Executive Officer at South Somerset District Council said “Alliance Leisure has years of experience delivering modern leisure developments in tune with community needs. Our new partnership, through the Leisure Framework, will ensure we deliver a mix of facilities and services which offer the local population most value both now and in the future.”
The Boden Mill itself will be redeveloped into a culture and public sector hub with a library, satellite museum, with the police, council and other local service providers who are also likely to be housed in the new facility. Conversion of the upper floors will create a number of residential units for rent or purchase.
All surrounding areas will be landscaped to create an attractive public realm that can be used for social gatherings, public art and community events. The nearby Holyrood Lace Mill will also transformed into a residential development offering a much needed housing solution.
The works will be carried out in phases starting with the new leisure centre and will complete at the end of 2020, subject to planning approval in summer 2019.
At our development at Haverhill Leisure Centre our partners at the Etec Group welcomed a work experience placement, Arthur Pickton.
Arthur had been given the opportunity to complete 40 hours of work experience at the Haverhill Leisure Centre refurbishment site in Suffolk. He is a Level 3 student studying Construction and the Built Environment at The Milburn Campus, West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds and has plans to pursue a career in site management, and has been working alongside Site Manager, Steve Koeck. Steve says, ‘I can honestly say it is a pleasure to have a young person who is keen to learn and so positive.’
Arthur has also been spending time with other staff, learning how the trades work, helping him to gain vital knowledge about how an efficient and effective site runs.
Arthur says, ‘Steve and several sub-contractors I have worked with during my placement have made me feel very welcome, supported me with tasks and learning in the best way possible and for that I am overwhelmed with the outcome of my work experience at Etec.’
Arthur is keen to learn more and plans to extend his work experience beyond the 40 hour requirement for his course. He is a real credit to both himself and West Suffolk College.
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 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 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.
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.”
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.