Barrow Borough Council has selected their preferred partner to manage the Park Leisure Centre. Following a competitive procurement process, Life Leisure have been appointed as preferred partner for the 15-year contract.

Life Leisure, the trading name of Stockport Sports Trust, was established in 2002. They are a not for profit social enterprise company and registered charity. They currently manage 12 facilities in Stockport and Stockport Borough Council’s sports development service. They will be looking to increase the usage of the Park Leisure Centre building upon their extensive experience and track record.

Life Leisure will be investing in the Park Leisure Centre including refurbishing the swimming pool changing rooms and replacing all the equipment in the fitness suite. Furthermore, they will be creating a sports development service, providing activities for residents right in the heart of their local community. The contract will also bring additional jobs to Park Leisure Centre as well as additional training opportunities for current staff who will be transferred to Life Leisure.

The procurement will also result in financial savings whilst maintaining the service for the users. Removing the Council’s subsidy for this service is an integral element within the Council’s multi-year Budget Strategy which requires £2.7m of savings and reductions by March 2020.

Councillor David Pidduck, Leader of the Council said, “One of the few things health experts agree on is that active people are healthy people. So I am delighted to announce the appointment of Life Leisure to run the Park Leisure Centre because it will result in more opportunities for more residents to become more active and healthier. I’m particularly delighted because Life Leisure have a strong track record of increasing activity amongst ‘hard to reach groups’ or people who don’t normally use leisure centres or gyms. We made it clear from the outset that we were looking, not just for an operator, but a long term partner that shared our vision for the Borough and I am really looking forward to working with Life Leisure to make that a reality.”

Malcom McPhail, Life Leisure’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to have be appointed as the preferred partner for Barrow Borough Council and are really excited about the opportunity to further develop both the facility and its programming but also extend sport and physical activity opportunities out into the local community. At Life Leisure our vision revolves around improving people’s lives by providing high quality facilities and access for all, championing and providing opportunities for disadvantaged individuals and communities. We look forward to working with the Council and local partners and most importantly working with the local community. Above all we want to change the lives of the people of Barrow for the better.”

David Rushton from The Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy commented: “The procurement will result in an excellent outcome for the Council which will protect and improve the Park Leisure Centre for the next 15 years at no cost to the Council. Life Leisure, as a charity clearly demonstrated their commitment to providing physical activity opportunities to Barrow residents and an excellent track record of success in delivering services in Stockport. We believe the two organisations share similar values which is a key reason why Life Leisure scored very highly on quality in the evaluation.”

The Council is currently finalising the contract with Life Leisure which commences on 1st August 2018.

For more information please contact David Rushton, Director at SLC, on 07780 437753 or