If you swim, exercise in a gym, play sport or take part in activities at All Saints Sports Centre, Centre for Sport, East End Pool or Walker Activity Dome, then from 14th December 2015, charitable organisation North Country Leisure (NCL), part of the GLL Group, will be running the services at these centres previously run by Newcastle City Council.
NCL is a not-for-profit charity based in the North East, which manages major leisure facilities across Cumbria and took over three centres in Newcastle on 1st July 2014; Eldon Leisure, Gosforth and West Denton Pool and Fitness Centres.
NCL were then chosen after a competitive process, to take on the management and running of All Saints Sports Centre, Centre for Sport, East End Pool and Walker Activity Dome, under a 20 year lease. Major considerations were given to the quality of services to be provided as well as the cost to council tax payers. The new arrangement will not only ensure that these buildings remain open to the public, but that the programme is run at a reduced cost, and ultimately no cost to the City Council.
The new provider will carry out a review of the facilities and services, to enhance and improve these popular facilities with work likely to take place within the first 12 months. Plans will include regular consultation with local residents and centre-users about the programmes and range of activities on offer.
By changing the use of some spaces and reconfiguring others, the intention is to attract more visitors and non-users to the centres whilst also adding to the experiences on offer for existing customers.
All works are planned to take place with limited disruption to normal services, with prior notice to work starting and with the aim of keeping the buildings open while works are taking place.
Due to Government funding reductions, these City Council leisure services were at risk of closure. Newcastle City Council made the move to keep these services open by offering these facilities to be transferred to another provider under strict conditions. NCL were able to progress with transfer of these sites and are committed to investing large sums to improve facilities to encourage more usage and turn them into flagship centres for the North East.
Two new leisure cards will also be introduced along with a choice of membership packages to offer the best possible prices. The beActive Leisure Card will give up to 25% off standard prices whilst the beActive PLUS card is available for people in receipt of certain benefits to gain discounts of up to 50% on each activity and membership packages. People who already have an Active Newcastle card will be able to get a discount of up to 10% off activities at the transferred centres.
Councillor Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “This is great news for residents of the city and for those who work here to be able to continue to access these leisure facilities. It was very important that the centres were put into the hands of a recognised organisation like North Country Leisure with a sound track record of successfully managing similar facilities in the North East.
“It means the future of these leisure facilities has been secured for generations of Newcastle residents who depend on them for exercise, rehabilitation and social pursuits. Leisure complexes are also local community resources at the heart of the area.”
NCL Chair Chris Roberts said: “As a proudly based north east charity, we are delighted to be taking on these additional flagship sites in Newcastle following the transfer of the initial centres to NCL in 2014. Becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of GLL in April this year provides us with more opportunities to invest in and improve all seven centres and we look forward to working positively with local people, staff, and the City Council to develop exciting, healthy activities for everyone to enjoy.”
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director, GLL, said: “We are delighted that as part of the GLL family, NCL will now bring leisure across the city of Newcastle under one brand.
“All provision is based on investment in improving the facilities going forward, attracting more visitors and increasing rates of physical activity.
It’s a huge boost for the health of the city and great news for users and local jobs.”
As a not for profit charity, any surpluses made are invested straight back into services and NCL’s financial arrangements can be seen on the Charity Commission website – www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission
The time tables and opening times for the four leisure centres please visit www.northcountryleisure.org.uk/newcastle