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SLC’s Recovery Planning Support strengthened through partnership with 4global.

SLC, in close collaboration with leisure insight experts and developers of the DataHub 4global, have developed a Local Authority Benchmarking Tool to support local authority clients and their leisure operating partners through the phases of recovery.

This enables local authorities to track actual live financial and throughput performance of sites linked to all the core income areas of a leisure operation and to maintain ‘real-time’ visibility on how the wider market is responding – something which will be hugely valuable during such a period of uncertainty.

This benchmarking tool will provide you with the comfort that your operator partner is performing at an acceptable level in terms of revenue generation and participation levels and to highlight any potential areas for you to explore with them as to why this particular area is under- or over performing against the recovery business plan forecast.

In some instances, this may support a move towards a transfer of income risk back to the operator based on robust, ‘live’ benchmarked evidence rather than informed guesswork or projections. In other cases, if the operator is struggling to perform to the level they forecast, this highlights the particular areas they may need to concentrate on and highlights the additional risk being taken by the funding local authority during recovery.

This enables local authorities to:

  • Provide elected Members with quarterly or monthly benchmarked updates on performance based on the most up to date ‘live’ validated income and participation data. (You also have an option to review the leisure operating partner’s performance on a monthly basis to supplement the quarterly benchmarking. This may be particularly beneficial during the critical early months of the recovery period)
  • Support the reconciliation process and negotiation of ongoing funding support on a quarterly basis to ensure your local authority’s funding support is optimised and creating the best possible conditions for recovery and risk transfer – ensuring that the ongoing projections are realistic, with support from SLC who will have valuable insight on what’s happening across the wider market
  • Understand the impact in the event of any recurrences of COVID-19 in your local area and what this means for your leisure operating partnership, recovery plans and future support funding.

This tool will be compatible and complimentary with the soon to be released National Benchmarking Services (NBS) new Covid support service.

Duncan Wood-Allum, Managing Director of SLC said,

“As we come out of supporting over 20 local authorities and a number of core cities with lockdown and recovery planning, we identified a real need for a tool to support a return to the new normal and an insight led return to risk transfer in leisure contracts. Using the powerful insight from DataHub combined with SLC’s expertise in contract monitoring and analysis, we have developed a tool which will support good partnership working and decision making as our clients and their partners reopen public leisure facilities. The tool is so powerful we have decided to make it available to all our competitors to enable them to support their local authority clients and their respective operating partnerships. This is part of an ongoing commitment from SLC to share its intellectual property with the sector, building on the national work it has been delivering in strategic planning outcomes guidance and leisure services delivery.”

Utku Toprakseven Partner at 4global said,

We are delighted to partner with SLC in supporting local authorities with actionable insight on the sector recovery, powered by the DataHub, as leisure centres start to reopen. Recovery is not a point in time, but it is a journey where local authorities and their operator partners should work together making insight led decisions based on real time, reliable data. This benchmarking tool supported with expert advice from SLC, will enable local authorities to track how the sector and other similar local authorities are performing in financial and throughput recovery.  This will allow for timely strategic decision making and continuous improvement to be at the heart of their plans.

SLC are providing a range of support for local authority clients as their leisure partnership returns to the new normal. For an informal conversation about how we may be able to support your partnership, please contact us on 01444 459927 or email