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.
SLC tendered for the development of a sports and physical activity strategy and review of our current operation. The interview with the team set the standard for the service and attention to detail that followed. They quickly established and very positive relationship with a very clear understanding of our particular circumstances, objectives and direction of travel. The team were outstanding in the way they worked with us, our elected members, stakeholders and partners. Duncan and David brought considerable expertise and a high level of understanding of the industry which has resulted in our expectations being well and truly achieved. We are looking forward to working with the team at SLC on the procurement of leisure and cultural services in the future.
Mike Lock, Leisure and Cultural Services Manager
North Kesteven District Council (April 2016)
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