Exploring sustainable options
de Stafford Sports Centre is a dual-use site featuring a gym, 25m swimming pool, fitness studio and sports hall and serves both the School in delivering the P.E curriculum and the local community of Caterham, Surrey. The facility was originally funded by Sport England, Tandridge District Council and de Stafford School. The operation of the Centre was for the last 10 years linked to the Council’s wider leisure portfolio and management agreement with a local leisure trust.
SLC was appointed by de Stafford School in June 2016 to support the procurement of a new management contract for the sports centre.
SLC provided the school with a review of the current leisure market and assessed the market potential of the facility. This initial work convinced the school of the need to go out to the leisure market and to procure a best-value solution.
SLC supported de Stafford School by undertaking all procurement activities on behalf of the school. This included soft market testing through a market engagement exercise which was vitally important to assess the market’s appetite for the contract.
SLC then supported the school through the procurement process working closely with the school’s project team in developing the specification, tender documents and evaluation framework and managing the clarifications process before evaluating bid submissions.
The procurement exercise went smoothly and resulted in Freedom Leisure successfully being appointed for a 15 year contract securing a sustainable future for the school’s sports facilities and community use for the residents of Caterham.
An outstanding outcome
As part of the new contract, Freedom Leisure intend to invest £1.2m to help improve and modernise the centre. Improvements include extending the gym and upgrading the equipment, adding a second group exercise studio to accommodate an extended class timetable, improving the catering offer, upgrading IT systems and installing new energy efficiency plant. This will reduce the centre’s carbon footprint.
In addition, Freedom Leisure will work closely with the School to explore the development of a new 3G artificial turf pitch which will be utilised by the School during the day be available for community use in the evenings and at weekends.
The service has been redesigned to focus on a clear set of outcomes for the School and local community and will be based upon a strong partnership philosophy and shared vision of more active pupils, staff and local people. In addition to providing improved facilities and wider programming, the School has also secured savings of c. £1.7M over the term of the contract. This includes transferring full risk on building maintenance and lifecycle replacement to the new operator
The ongoing support, advice and guidance we received from SLC throughout the procurement process was excellent and integral to securing such a positive outcome for the school.
Jeremy Garner, Head Teacher
de Stafford School (October 2017)
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