Reviewing our leisure services

On Tuesday 10 October, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet agreed that the management of two of its leisure centres will be outsourced over the coming months, and chose Freedom Leisure as the preferred bidder.

Lichfield District Council is pleased to announce that it has chosen Freedom Leisure as its preferred bidder to manage Burntwood Leisure Centre and Friary Grange Leisure Centre. This is part of the council’s commitment to encouraging more active lifestyles.

The market-leading leisure trust was chosen as the preferred bidder following a competitive tendering process. The council is now working with Freedom Leisure to agree the terms and conditions of the outsourcing contract, which will be subject to further Cabinet and Full Council approval later this year.

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Leisure at Lichfield District Council, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Freedom Leisure as our preferred bidder and hope that the contract negotiations go smoothly.

“Freedom Leisure manage a large suite of leisure centres nationwide and are committed to improving leisure facilities locally, boosting usage and offering great staff development schemes.

“We’ve decided to outsource the management of two of our leisure centres, as we must use our resources as effectively as possible, while encouraging more people to be active more often.

“Where outsourcing has happened in other parts of the country, such as Cannock and Rugeley, participation levels have gone up and people have benefited from enhanced leisure services, so we’re confident it will offer our residents the best access to our leisure facilities.”

Freedom Leisure is a not-for-profit leisure trust which manages leisure and cultural facilities on behalf of partners across the UK, delivering high quality, locally-focussed services, and are committed to their ongoing development.

The trust has invested millions of pounds into improving facilities, equipment and services for local communities, to encourage more people to live happier, healthier, more active lifestyles, and to make the most of their leisure time.

Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Managing Director for Freedom Leisure, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as Lichfield District Council’s preferred bidder and very much look forward to working with the existing workforce and supporting them to build upon the current high quality services and facilities.

“We hope that our operational expertise, coupled with this local approach, will mean that the services will go from strength-to-strength in support of the objectives we share with the council.”

Having agreed to outsource the management of Burntwood and Friary Grange leisure centres, the council is now negotiating the terms and conditions of the proposed outsourcing contract, including the transfer of all leisure staff to the new operator.

Meetings will also take place in the coming weeks and throughout the process with staff members who are affected by the decision, to make sure everyone is kept fully informed of what is happening.

The handover target will be confirmed once the contract has been awarded.

As soon as we know more information about the handover and how this will impact the leisure centres, we will update this page and create a set of frequently asked questions.

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