SLC was originally appointed by Rochford District Council in February 2020 to support the reprocurement of the leisure management contract which was due to end in March 2022. The existing contract with Fusion Lifestyle included Clements Hall Leisure Centre, Rayleigh Leisure Centre, The Mill Arts & Events Centre, Castle Hall and Freight House.



The impact of COVID-19 led the Council to reconsider its approach, since procuring a new contract in a commercially uncertain environment was unlikely to allow the Council to achieve value for money or incentivise innovation or investment by a service provider


It was determined that the best course of action for the Council would be to extend the existing contract with Fusion and delay the reprocurement until the market had recovered from the impact of Covid-19. SLC’s consultancy support was therefore redirected into supporting the Council through the extension process, reviewing Fusion’s proposals and assisting with negotiations to reach agreement on a final position. SLC also supported the Council in monitoring and reconciling the open book returns from Fusion during 2020/21 linked to the agreed Covid-19 financial support package from the Council.

A three-year contract extension was agreed with Fusion Lifestyle in December 2020 which takes the new contract end date to 31 March 2025. In April 2021, SLC undertook a handover of the open book review process to the Council to enable them to continue to manage and monitor the financial support provided to Fusion under the open book arrangements agreed for the next 12 months of the contract.


SLC’s expert support and advice throughout a very challenging period for the Council was invaluable in securing a positive outcome for our leisure services. They were flexible in their approach when Covid-19 led to a required change in direction and their industry expertise and knowledge together with clearly presented and timely solutions added real value to the contract extension negotiations and enabled the Council to make fully informed decisions. Communication was superb – always available by phone, quick to reply to emails and reports were always turned round within agreed deadlines even when these were very tight. We were very happy with the support provided by SLC and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.

Mark Aldous, Senior Leisure & Cultural Services Officer, Assets & Commercial Services