On 3 October 2018, 15 Local Authorities and organisations from across England enjoyed a day of learning, knowledge transfer and engagement with SLC’s Directors on: ‘Optimising your Leisure and Cultural Procurement.’

The session was designed to provide a platform for best practice, sharing of lessons learned and promote the development of more effective partnerships, improved financial and social value.

The following key themes were explored at the Think Tank based on delegates’ key needs:

  • establishing need to shape leisure and cultural strategies and any subsequent pre-procurement strategy
  • exploring opportunities to support the achievement of wider strategic outcomes through leisure and cultural procurement
  • key insights from local authorities coming to the end of their existing operational contracts
  • achieving better outcomes and reduced subsidies / positive management fees.

Karen Bradford, former Deputy Chief Executive of North Kesteven District Council (Now Chief Executive of Gedling Borough Council), and Debbie Roberts, Projects Officer, presented a lively and informative case study to a mesmerised audience on their recent highly successful leisure and arts procurement.

The event tackled challenging issues such as data ownership, developing political ‘buy in’ and managing the end of a contract. SLC’s Directors facilitated throughout day using case studies from very recently completed SLC procurements including: West Lindsey District Council, de Stafford School, Barrow Borough Council, Crawley Borough Council and Watford Borough Council.

These all demonstrated how a leisure and cultural procurement can secure a quality partnership focusing on strategic objectives and outcomes, delivering an outstanding result on their management fee, driving out significant cashable savings on the previous contract and more importantly, delivering significantly improved services.

In the afternoon, SLC ran ‘surgeries’ where delegates were divided into small groups to discuss their own leisure and cultural service challenges. The themes of the sessions included the current leisure market, procurement routes, and optimising social and financial return on investment.

Feedback from the session was outstanding with a 94% overall satisfaction rating including comments such as:

  • “Very informative, great networking and lots of actions to take forward”
  •  “Really useful – good to meet others”
  •  “Very good having Sport England, local authorities and SLC in the room together to discuss looking at getting the best out of our leisure facilities.”

SLC has been running industry leading Think Tanks since its inception in 2010 and is running its next session in Loughborough on 13th February 2019.

The focus of this upcoming Think Tank is to provide a more informed approach to delivering leisure and cultural services sustainably by exploring the various stages of the transformation journey linked to investment and service redesign.

It also provides an opportunity to meet with colleagues from other authorities, organisations and experts involved in the transformation of their services in a challenging financial climate.

Further details are available on request. For more information call us on 01444 459927 or email info@slc.uk.com