Social enterprise GLL to run new Rugby leisure centre

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THE contract to run the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre in Rugby has been given to GLL.

The charitable social enterprise won the ten-year contract in a competitive tendering process, and will take over from DC Leisure whose contract ends at the end of March.

GLL is an experienced operator that runs leisure centres for a number of London councils as well as regional centres. The organisation has recently been appointed the new operator of the Aquatics Centre and Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Rugby Borough Council has awarded the contract based on a bid that showed both social and financial benefits. GLL’s status as a social enterprise means that the centre will be run on a not-for-profit basis, with any surplus reinvested into services. The organisation is owned by its staff and members, and will operate under the brand ‘Better’.

GLL’s first task will be to find premises to operate from in the period before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre opens in late July. This closure period is needed to allow safe demolition of the Ken Marriott Leisure Centre and final completion and commissioning of the new leisure centre, including staff training.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for economy, development, and culture, said: “While construction work on the new leisure centre has been ongoing for nearly a year, we have been working on the tendering process for the operation of the centre since April 2012.

“I am very pleased to now reach this important milestone, which allows GLL and ourselves to plan for the closure of the Ken Marriott Leisure Centre and transfer operations to the new centre. GLL have a track record of running excellent services for the communities they serve and I look forward to them doing the same for the people of Rugby.”

Mark Sesnan, managing director of GLL, said: “We are delighted to have been invited to work in partnership with Rugby Borough Council and are committed to providing first class leisure and sporting facilities to local residents.

“We believe our experience – GLL currently operates more than 110 public leisure centres across England – coupled with our status as a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise means that we have both the operational skills and community focus that will enable us to deliver top quality leisure services and encourage increased participation from local residents regardless of age or fitness levels.”

Updates on plans for opening the new leisure centre, and interim arrangements for the closure period, will be posted at www.rugby.gov.uk/newleisurecentre.