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Fenland District Council's new leisure partner commences 15 year contract to run area's sports centres




Fenland's four leisure centres have formally been handed over to their new management company.

Freedom Leisure Operations Director Matt Hunt with Cllr Mark Buckton and the Freedom Leisure and centre team behind. (5821506)
Freedom Leisure Operations Director Matt Hunt with Cllr Mark Buckton and the Freedom Leisure and centre team behind. (5821506)

Councillor Mark Buckton, Fenland Council's portfolio holder for leisure and young people met with senior representatives from Freedom Leisure on the start of a new 15-year partnership on yesterday (Tuesday), which aims to bring enhanced leisure facilities for residents.

Fenland’s four leisure centres; Chatteris, George Campbell, Hudson and Manor will be managed by the not-for-profit leisure trust in partnership with, and on behalf of, Fenland District Council – a move the authority claims will give them a bright future and supporting the people of Fenland to be more active and healthy.

new Area Manager Dan Palframan (left) and Freedom Leisure’s mascot, Jim Trainer, meeting the team at George Campbell. (5821514)
new Area Manager Dan Palframan (left) and Freedom Leisure’s mascot, Jim Trainer, meeting the team at George Campbell. (5821514)

However, the change-over has already seen controversy with the announcement that Wisbech Indoor Bowls Club would not be having their lease renewed and would have to find an alternative venue to the Hudson in Wisbech.

At yesterday's hand-over Matt Hunt, Freedom Leisure’s operations director and Dan Palframan, Freedom Leisure area manager, were joined by local councillors, along with Freedom Leisure’s mascot, Jim Trainer and staff members proudly showing off their new uniform, at George Campbell Leisure Centre to formally mark day one.

This partnership is committed to ensuring that Fenland’s leisure services provided for residents are protected and taken forward; with quality, affordability and accessibility at their core.

Of the new contract, Matt Hunt, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Fenland District Council as their 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 district and its public leisure services.

“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 site teams and ensure a smooth transition.”

Councillor Mark Buckton said: “We are really looking forward to working with Freedom Leisure over the coming years, and seeing the many benefits it will bring to the whole of Fenland. Freedom Leisure has great experience of working with councils across England and Wales to make the most of local leisure services and has an excellent track record in boosting usage and offering great staff development. This new partnership will not only secure the future of our four leisure centres, it will also bring much needed investment in our facilities and secures concessions and services for vulnerable groups who already enjoy the facilities.”

With £1.1m of investment due to be made, there are lots of exciting facility developments and improvements in the pipeline including extended and refurbished gym and studio spaces, state-of-the art fitness kit and improved catering offerings, plus the recruitment of an Active Communities Executive and the introduction of many new community-focussed outreach programmes, to support everyone in the district no matter of their age or ability.

To find out more visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk



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