A strategic approach
In 2015, SLC were appointed by North Kesteven District Council to produce a Sport and Physical Activity Strategy in preparation for the re-procurement of its leisure portfolio in 2018. This also included a review of the current contract which included leisure centres, the arts service, countryside services and Whisby Natural World Centre.
The Sport and Physical Activity Strategy engaged a variety of stakeholders including schools, Lincolnshire County Council and the local Clinical Commissioning Groups. The result was a set of clear priorities supported by bespoke performance indicators which could be embedded in the new leisure contract.
SLC also supported the Council in developing a new Arts Strategy for its significant arts portfolio which includes the National Centre of Craft and Design.
Developing a clear procurement strategy
Having invested in its portfolio, North Kesteven District Council worked with SLC to develop a procurement strategy to maximise the financial and social return from its services. This involved developing a clear understanding of affordability and optimum scope of the new contract.
From this the Council took the decision to let the existing all-encompassing contract through 4 Lots:
1. Sport and Physical Activity
2. Whisby Natural World Centre
3. Countryside Service
4. Arts Service.
SLC provided the Council with procurement support including market engagement, contract documentation and managing bidder clarifications.
The result was a number of high quality bids ultimately resulting in the best placed operator for each Lot. The Sport and Physical Activity services are managed by GLL, Whisby Natural World Centre and the Arts Services by Lincs Inspire, a local trust and the Countryside Service by Hill Holt Wood a local social enterprise.
The Council will make transformational contract savings of over £7.5 million over 10 years with the leisure facilities moving from subsidy to surplus. in the future, including a costed implementation plan with timeframes.
The Sport and PA Strategy, produced by SLC, was the key strategic document to enable the realignment of the new sports and culture contract. The options appraisal for the National Centre and realignment of the leisure and sports lots were sensitive and emotive projects which were handled extremely professionally. SLC are also very engaging with elected members which has been demonstrated in key consultation events. They are very experienced at facilitating large groups of stakeholders from professional bodies and engaging with statutory agencies. Extremely knowledgeable of the leisure and cultural sector.
Karen Bradford, Deputy Chief Executive
North Kesteven District Council (April 2018)
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