THE new £7.5m Tewkesbury Leisure Centre is now open for residents to enjoy – bringing a whole series of benefits for local communities and a plan for a long-term sustainable future.
High quality leisure facilities at the centre, located next to the council offices in Gloucester Road, include a main 25m pool and a 20m learner/training pool with fun features such as sprays and water cannons.
The new leisure centre also has a 60 station gym, sauna and steam rooms, a flexible activities studio for a whole range of activities including dance, fitness classes and children’s parties – and a coffee shop with viewing area.
To boost community use at the Tewkesbury Borough Council-owned centre there is free swimming for under 8s and low fees for community groups such as schools, clubs and societies will be maintained as well as for new and existing individual members.
Leading independent management, design and construction consultancy, Pick Everard, has managed the procurement of a new leisure operator and provided cost and design advice.
The contractor for the scheme was Willmott Dixon. Both firms have provided their services through frameworks delivered by public sector-owned procurement specialist, Scape Group.
Scape provides the fastest delivery model available to the public sector, removing the need for clients to carry out their own procurement. It prides itself on schemes which deliver excellent value for money for their clients, boost local economies and provide wider community benefits.
Key to the work at the new Tewkesbury Leisure Centre, which replaces the ageing Cascades centre in the town, has been to ensure it has a sustainable, long-term future. The procurement processes and cost and design advice will ensure the centre is an income generator for the council, rather than requiring financial input to be sustainable, which was the case with the previous leisure centre.
Cllr Clare Wright, Tewkesbury Borough Council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “We are so proud of the new leisure centre which provides outstanding facilities for our local communities. Working closely in a spirit of collaboration with Pick Everard, Willmott Dixon and Scape has enabled us to provide a new facility which will help us to support the health and wellbeing of our residents. The leisure centre caters for all ages and abilities, so I would encourage as many people as possible to come along and see how they can get involved.”
Ian Shaw, director at Pick Everard, said: “Working with the forward thinking Tewkesbury Borough Council we were able to configure and deliver an approach which will ensure leisure services for the borough and the surrounding area well into the future. Tewkesbury Borough Council gave us the opportunity to demonstrate our ability to manage the procurement process of the leisure operator alongside agreeing the construction cost via the Scape National Major Works framework and we have delivered as promised and repaid their faith in us. The high running costs and subsidies of the old centre have been replaced with modern, state of the art facilities and a leisure operator who was appointed in part for its commitment to low pricing, employment and incentives for locals to use the new facilities.”
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “With reduced budgets, it is becoming ever more important for local authorities to find the right solutions to operate more efficiently and provide the best possible facilities for their residents. By working closely with its partners, Tewkesbury Borough Council has achieved this with a wonderful new facility for its local communities to enjoy, while also boosting people’s health and well-being.”
Pick Everard delivered its work through the Scape National Project Management and Quantity Surveying framework and Willmott Dixon through the Scape National Major Works framework. Stringent KPIs are put into place and delivery programmes involve working with local supply chain providers, boosting local employment and have a positive impact on communities.
Places for People Leisure has been appointed to run the new leisure centre on behalf of the council. It is a social enterprise with a successful track record of managing more than 100 local authority leisure facilities across the country for nearly 25years. As well as running the centre at no cost to the council – creating significant ongoing savings – Places for People Leisure will provide high quality services and activities for the residents of the borough to enjoy.
Employees from the previous leisure centre in the town have been transferred to the new Tewkesbury Leisure Centre and new job opportunities have also been created.