17 Aug 2022 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2022 issue 3

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Leisure Management - Driving active communities

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Driving active communities


The new UK Leisure Framework has been set up to deliver £2bn of developments, as Paul Cluett, MD of Alliance Leisure explains

The leisure-focused Framework is tackling the UK’s ageing facilities Alliance Leisure

Since its launch in 2012, the UK Leisure Framework, owned and managed by Denbighshire Leisure and driven by Alliance Leisure as the lead development contractor, has been providing public sector leisure providers with an end-to-end leisure development solution that’s transforming communities up and down the country.

As the Framework begins its third renewal, it’s the perfect time to look back at the achievements to date and explore ambitions moving forwards.

The story so far
There are many established frameworks, but the UK Leisure Framework is unique for two reasons.

Firstly, it’s the only one in the country to be entirely focused on leisure. This means all suppliers working through it are appointed based on their leisure experience and credentials. This creates huge opportunities to apply best practice learnings borne out of years of experience and practical application.

Secondly, the Framework isn’t just focused on delivering bricks and mortar facilities; it adopts a full-service approach, supporting all elements that contribute to a successful, sustainable development, including design, business planning, funding, construction and marketing.

These factors help facilitate the development of active environments that reflect the specific needs of each local community. They also help ensure a sustainable future for these developments, both in terms of their financial viability and the provision of facilities and services that make a long-term contribution to the happiness, health and prosperity of the population they serve.

Impacting local outcomes
Since 2012, when Alliance Leisure was appointed lead development contractor, the UK Leisure Framework has delivered 58 projects with a total investment value of around £74m. Open to all UK local authorities and many other public sector bodies, projects completed under the framework have ranged from a £200,000 single community 3G pitch to enable year-round play, to the multi-million-pound transformation of entire leisure stock portfolios. The new UK Leisure Framework has a total investment value of £2bn and a project pipeline value of £250m.

The Framework is helping local authorities leverage their sports and physical activity provision to meet the government’s levelling up ambitions. We know we have an ageing leisure stock in the UK, which has serious repercussions for swimming pools in particular. Indeed, in its report A Decade of Decline: The Future of Swimming Pools in England, Swim England warned that almost 2,000 swimming pool locations could be lost by the end of the decade unless these ageing facilities are refurbished or replaced. The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated this issue.

By simplifying the procurement process for leisure development projects, maximising efficiencies at every level of the supply chain and turning projects around quickly, the Framework gives local authorities an efficient and effective means of procuring and delivering sports and active leisure projects from concept to completion. In so doing, they increase opportunities for physical activity, shape active environments and create attractive places that provide a sense of civic pride.

Mitigating investment risk
Brexit, the pandemic and current global events are making life increasingly challenging and in times like these, some local authorities may be reluctant to invest in a non-statutory service such as leisure. But if these challenges have shown us anything, it’s the importance of physical activity to the nation’s mental health and physical wellbeing.
From play park refurbishments to brand new leisure centres, projects completed under the UK Leisure Framework are designed to deliver real community value, helping to break down barriers to inclusion and engagement, tackling health inequalities and bringing economic, health and social benefits to local communities.

By mitigating the risk of investment, the Framework has become a proven and trusted vehicle to achieving these ambitions, even during tough times. It allows public sector providers to refurbish, redevelop and renew their tired leisure stock to prevent them from becoming a drain on resources. Instead, local authorities can work with leisure development experts to rethink their offering, what their communities really need and develop more creative solutions that encourage more people to be active.

For information on the UK Leisure Framework and to view a full list of appointed suppliers, visit: www.leisureframework.co.uk

“The UK Leisure Framework is helping local authorities leverage their sports and physical activity provision to meet the government’s levelling up ambitions” – Paul Cluett, MD of Alliance Leisure

THE FRAMEWORK IN NUMBERS
UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Leisure. Lead development contractor, Alliance Leisure

■ New build developments: 4

■ Developments delivered: 58

■ Value of completed projects: £75m

■ Value of committed projects: £250m


Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 3

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