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Council starts 20-year contract with new leisure partner

Swansea Council today marked the start of a 20-year partnership with Freedom Leisure.


Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, met senior representatives of Freedom Leisure at Penlan Leisure Centre and at the LC.

From today (October 1), six community leisure centres and the LC will be managed by the not-for-profit leisure trust in partnership with, and on behalf of, the council.

This will give them a bright future and will support the people of Swansea to be active and healthy.

The partnership is committed to ensuring that the city's leisure services provided for residents are protected and taken forward; with quality, affordability and accessibility at their core.

Swansea-born Jeremy Rowe, Freedom Leisure's regional director, said: "Swansea is a wonderful city and we are delighted to have been selected by the council as its leisure partner to ensure these essential community facilities remain where they belong.

"This is a long-term partnership with a huge amount of investment which we hope demonstrates our genuine commitment to the city.

"I was brought up in Trallwn and studied at Morriston Comprehensive School, so I know first-hand the importance of these facilities.

"We are very much looking forward to getting stuck in and meeting all the staff and customers today, yet maintaining business as normal. We have a highly qualified mobilisation team here this week to support the sit teams and ensure the smooth transition."

Freedom Leisure is taking over the management of the LC from existing managers Bay Leisure. The operation of the other sports and leisure centres - Bishopston, Cefn Hengoed, Elba, Morriston, Penlan and Penyrheol - is being transferred from the council.

Cllr Francis-Davies said: "The people of Swansea can look forward to exciting times at their leisure and sports facilities with a programme of investment in services and facilities.

"The facilities will remain council venues and council services. Freedom Leisure will deliver the services for our customers, on our behalf.

"We will be working together to give the people of Swansea the best leisure offer we can now and in the future."

With £5.1m of investment due to be made, there are exciting developments and improvements in the pipeline. Highlights include energy saving/efficiency works across all sites, new pool features, extended and refurbished gym and studio spaces, state-of-the art fitness kit and improved catering offerings, plus online booking.

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Did you know?

  • Freedom Leisure is a not-for-profit trust which manages leisure and cultural facilities on behalf of partners across the UK.  They say: "We are proud to be delivering high quality, locally-focused services and are committed to their ongoing development.  As a not-for-profit organisation all surpluses are reinvested in support of the objectives we share with our partners."
  • Swansea's leisure centres attract more than 2.1 million visitors a year. They offer high-quality attractions including swimming pools, fitness classes and programmes, gyms, sports clubs, children's activities and squash courts. The council decision to create the partnership with Freedom Leisure was the culmination of a three-year commissioning review of council-operated leisure services. Over the course of the review the council considered a number of options. During the process there was on-going consultation with staff, unions, customers and interested organisations. At the same time, the LC contract was due for renewal. Freedom Leisure was selected through a rigorous competitive tender process.
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