Oxford Spires Academy set to open doors on new community leisure facilities in January 2016.

The Sport Leisure and Culture Consultancy has been supporting Oxford Spires Aiamgecademy, part of the CfBT Schools Trust in developing new community sports facilities in East Oxford, due to open to the public in January 2016. Oxford Spires Academy serves the East Oxford community and is a richly diverse and highly aspiring Academy which offers an excellent, inspiring education to boys and girls aged 11 to 19.

The Academy opened in January 2011. Oxford City Council has invested in the new facilities alongside Oxford Spires Academy to extend and upgrade its sports hall which will include a new community gym available for residents and students to use.

The Council is committed to providing a new facility accessible by the community once Temple Cowley Pools and Fitness Centre closes. The facilities are coming to the end of their operational life. It has replaced them with a new multi-million pound swimming pool in Blackbird Leys, complimented by the soon to open new state of the art gym extension linked to existing community provision at Oxford Spires.

SLC has had a long association of working in Oxford and they were initially engaged to support the Academy in developing a business plan and feasibility study to identify the potential for wider community use and scope future facilities. Following receipt of SLC’s findings, the Academy worked closely with the City Council which has generously granted the project £500,000 towards the total cost of the development, with the Academy also investing significantly to meet the needs of a growing student roll and East Oxford’s residents.

Oxford Spires Academy is no stranger to community use and has a unique arrangement with Oxford City Lawn Tennis Club and an impressive community programme in place with its existing facilities which have benefitted from some major investments in recent years. SLC’s next challenge was to secure a leisure operator for the Academy, one that shared its philosophy and values and could deliver significant improvements in sport and physical activity participation in the local community.

SLC managed a 9 month procurement exercise with major leisure operators, and Fusion Lifestyle (who operate the City Council’s portfolio of facilities) was selected to become the Academy’s operating partner for the next ten years linked to a major investment in equipping the new Gym. The new facility will be open in early 2016 and the SLC are looking forward to seeing the ribbon cut on a great project.

Sue Croft, Principal at Oxford Spires and Project Champion said, “SLC was a huge help, professional, easy to communicate with, providing clear, honest guidance and advice. As a result of their input we have an excellent outcome for our school and students.”

Duncan Wood-Allum, Director of SLC who led the project said, “This has been one of our most satisfying projects, working with such great partners in delivering a much needed sustainable community leisure project. It was a privilege for us to be involved.”

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