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.

WORK STARTS AT LONG STRATTON

Work has started on site this week at Long Stratton Leisure Centre, which is undergoing a £2m re-development by Alliance Leisure in partnership with South Norfolk District Council.

The improvements include a re-built two storey frontage to the building, with a new Gym, Soft Play, Café, Studios and Changing facilities for both members and the local School users.

The development will provide exciting, new facilities for the local community and will engage with a wider market of users to increase leisure participation. The project is due for completion at the end of December 2018. Watch this space for updates!

YORKSHIRE LEISURE CENTRE TO OFFER 24 HOUR GYM ACCESS FOLLOWING £2.5 MILLION REFURBISHMENT

As part of a 26-week refurbishment project, with an investment total of £2.5 million, Northallerton Leisure Centre has opened the doors to its gym facility 24 hours a day to enable the centre to provide a more flexible service to the local community.

The investment project, commissioned and funded mainly by Hambleton District Council with a £213,000 contribution from Sport England towards swim changing improvements, has seen the construction of a new 5,100sq ft extension to house a fully equipped fitness suite, supplied by Technogym and complete with new functional training area and rig. A toning suite has also been added to attract a new segment of the market and the original fitness space has been renovated to include a general purpose studio and a group cycling studio.

Speaking of the renovations, Steve Lister, Head of Service, Leisure and Environment, says: “The investment has breathed new life into our fitness provision, enabling us to offer residents a new standard in quality and variety of training options. We have also installed technology which, using unique access codes and single person entry ‘pods’, makes it safe and secure to offer 24 hour access to the fitness facilities. This gives people more opportunity to fit physical activity into busy schedules and helps us in our ambition to get a higher percentage of the local population engaged in regular exercise.”

The investment has also seen general repair and upgrade works to the existing water slides, flumes and wave machine in the pool area. The pool surround has been replaced and new shower facilities added.

The Changing Village has been completely reconfigured. In addition to the inclusion of more lockers and changing cubicles, the facilities now boost Changing Places approval, recognising the improved accessibility for people with a disability.

As principle contractor on the project, Alliance Leisure employed ISG to carry out the works as part of a 10-year partnership agreement. Speaking of the project, James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance, says: “This project is an excellent example of how the public and private sector are working together to deliver against Sport England’s objective to encourage more participation in physical activity. Northallerton Leisure Centre is now an accessible, modern and inviting hub where all ages and abilities can meet and enjoy a full range of physical activities.

“The whole project has been delivered, on time, on budget and in a live environment with minimal disruption to service throughout. The investment means that the local community now has a modern-day activity hub which will provide a sustainable leisure provision for many years to come.”

ALLIANCE COMPLETE £1.5M TRANSFORMATION OF BIRCHWOOD LEISURE CENTRE

Birchwood Leisure Centre has opened its doors to customers following the £1.5m redevelopment of the centre by Alliance Leisure.

Operated by Active Nation on behalf of City of Lincoln Council since 2007, the centre had begun to outgrow its facilities with overcrowding in the gym and studio space unable to accommodate the expanding programme of classes.  The improvement programme, funded by City Of Lincoln Council, includes a new gym which increases the number of stations from 30 to 100 with new equipment, a larger free weights area and small group training space. It also includes the region’s first fully immersive group cycling studio from Les Mills with a cinema-scale screen and sound system.

A new soft play area and XHeight Adventure Climbing facility will allow the centre to increase its exercise offerings for children and expand its party packages giving it greater reach in the family market, while the Shapemaster power-assisted exercise studio, the city’s first, provides an opportunity to develop its work in rehabilitation, exercise referral and care for older people.

A new Costa ‘Proud to Serve’ café along with a new display area for the local RAF 50 & 61 Squadron Association memorabilia completes the refurbishment project, which Active Nation believes will increase its membership base from 1,000 to more than 2,000.

XHeigh Adventure Climbing

Soft Play

New Gym

Les Mills Immersive Studio

Costa Coffee Cafe

Toning Suite