New operator appointed for Arun Leisure Centre and Littlehampton Sports Centre

Cllr Paul Dendle, Arun District Council cabinet member for leisure and amenities, shakes hands with Ivan Horsfall Turner, MD of Freedom Leisure. Freedom will run the new pool in Littlehampton SUS-150710-090749001

Cllr Paul Dendle, Arun District Council cabinet member for leisure and amenities, shakes hands with Ivan Horsfall Turner, MD of Freedom Leisure. Freedom will run the new pool in Littlehampton SUS-150710-090749001

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A new operator has been handed the contracts to run four leisure centres in the Arun district.

Freedom Leisure will take over the management and operation of the Arun Leisure Centre (Felpham), Bersted Park Community Centre, Littlehampton Swimming and Sports Centre and The Windmill Entertainment Centre (Littlehampton) from April 1, 2016.

The company had been handed a ten-year contract by Arun District Council, who said all the centres are ‘set to benefit from renewed resources, investment and refurbishment’.

In particular, Arun Leisure Centre will enjoy significant capital investment of around £1.5m to improve its facilities.

It follows what was called a ‘competitive tender process’ which did not include Inspire Leisure, the current operators of the four centres, who were told in February they were not allowed to bid for the contract.

Councillor Paul Dendle, Arun District Council’s cabinet member for leisure and amenities, said: “We are delighted to be working with Freedom Leisure and feel confident in its ability to deliver a superb service to our local communities.

“Freedom Leisure demonstrated a very strong community and sports development ethic and we believe it will prove an excellent partner in helping us deliver Arun’s priorities.

“We are particularly looking to improve health and wellbeing among the whole community and priority groups including the disabled, older people and very young children.

“Freedom Leisure has demonstrated its ability to provide health and wellness programmes alongside first-rate leisure facilities and we believe under its management, the whole community will benefit.

“In addition, we will be making a saving of £1.1 million on the current contract.”

Freedom Leisure is a ‘not-for-profit organisation’ which means that all profits are reinvested into the facilities to further enhance their provision.

Ivan Horsfall Turner, managing director for Freedom Leisure, said: “We are very pleased to be chosen as Arun’s community leisure partner.

The sites all have great potential and loyal members. We see our role is to enhance the services on offer, introduce some new initiatives and broaden their appeal to more people, including the very young and older populations.

“We will work closely with Arun District Council whose local knowledge and experience will ensure we develop the facilities to meet the local demand precisely.”

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