SLC was commissioned by Adur and Worthing Councils to explore a future joined up approach to indoor and outdoor leisure, sport, physical activity and wellbeing in the context of a neighbourhood-based model.

After visiting the local leisure sites, SLC undertook a programme of focused consultation with key senior strategic stakeholders and service leads. The structured interviews helped inform an understanding of current practice and opportunities for exploration across the joint councils.

SLC subsequently undertook diagnostic work linked to Sport England’s Strategic Outcomes Planning Guidance to set out the current state of play in Adur and Worthing, identifying gaps in insight and suggesting a range of steps to support the Councils in developing their approach to leisure, sport, physical activity and wellbeing.

A diagnostic report was produced, featuring the potential scope of Adur and Worthing’s future strategic approach, supported by a clear roadmap for future complementary work to support strategic priorities linked to an emerging Neighbourhood Model. The report identified opportunities to join up service offerings, blend business models, optimise partnerships and attract external funding. This dovetailed into the Councils’ wider transformation ambitions through their Platforms for Our Places.



Simultaneously, SLC provided specialist advice to Adur District Council on securing a medium-term management solution for their existing leisure facilities which remained closed following the insolvency of the previous operator, Adur Community Leisure, as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council’s preferred option was to engage with South Downs Leisure (SDL), an established and trusted partner delivering leisure services on behalf of neighbouring Worthing Borough Council. The need to establish a swift re-opening of these important community facilities and the obvious benefits of a ‘joined-up’ offer across Adur and Worthing meant that this was considered to be the optimal solution.

SLC supported the development of new contract documents including a detailed specification designed to deliver services that align strongly with the Council’s strategic priorities. SLC also reviewed SDL’s proposed business plan and approach to future service delivery and supported the Council in negotiations with SDL.

A new 5-year management contract has been agreed with SDL who plan to re-open the Adur facilities as soon as Covid restrictions are lifted.



These two distinct workstreams have supported the development of a future strategic approach and vision for leisure, sport and physical activity across Adur and Worthing and enabled the re-opening of Adur’s core public leisure facilities. This means that despite the impact of Covid-19, the Councils have established a solid position from which to build upon in the future. The project also neatly demonstrates SLC’s wide-ranging skillsets in supporting a long-term strategic approach alongside delivery of practical and sustainable operational solutions.


Thurrock Council recommended SLC to me, and I have not been disappointed.

Martin Randall, Director for Communities, Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils