Westway Trust, the charity that is custodian of a vibrant 23 acres of land underneath the Westway flyover in Kensington, has agreed a 10 year partnership with leisure operator Everyone Active to manage the sports and fitness enterprise on the estate.
The partnership will see Everyone Active and Westway Trust encourage 1.2 million visits to the Westway Sports and Fitness enterprise every year (up from 600,000). To achieve the 1.2 million target, Westway Trust will invest £2m and Everyone Active will invest £1.7m in improving the popular facilities to ensure top-class centres for local residents, sports clubs and community groups.
The official signing on the agreement was marked by a visit from Everyone Active Sporting Ambassador and Olympic Silver-medallist, Colin Jackson CBE, who had a tour of the facilities and an impromptu climbing session with one of the Westway Sports and Fitness coaches.
Colin Jackson said: “It was great to have a tour round Westway Sports and Fitness centre. I really enjoyed giving climbing a go and now I can’t wait to see it in the 2020 Olympics. It’s great exercise for your whole body and there’s a puzzle-solving element to it as you find the best route, which adds another aspect to your workout. “The facilities here are fantastic. The idea of introducing bouldering, more fitness activities and a new café, as well as improving the changing facilities will, I’m sure, inspire even more people to join the centre and club and be active.”
Angela McConville, Westway Trust Chief Executive, said: “Westway Trust’s sports and fitness enterprise is iconic and we are proud to have built such a fantastic suite of facilities and opportunities for local people. If we want to continue to inspire more people to live well and be physically active, we need to continually invest in state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and technology and find new and innovative ways to appeal to people. The Everyone Active team has demonstrated they share our goals and aspirations and that they have the experience, expertise and ideas to help us realise them. I look forward to working with Everyone Active to inspire many more people to take part in sport and physical activity over the coming years ahead.”
David Bibby, Everyone Active Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Westway Trust, such an exciting and dynamic charity that has done some truly pioneering work in sports and physical activity in West London. The mix of sports available across the estate is staggering given its location. “Our aim is to enhance the facilities and equipment, to be creative and responsive when encouraging and retaining people in sport and physical activity and manage the enterprise to the highest possible standard. Everyone Active is committed to engaging with local communities to help more people to be active and live a healthier lifestyle. We look forward to working with Westway Trust and its wider community in achieving these aims.”
The Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy (SLC) provided Westway Trust with procurement advice and support. SLC Managing Consultant, David Rushton, commented: “We believe this procurement is a model of good practice and shows how what is already a good service can be transformed. The Trust specified clear non-financial requirements and we assisted them in developing priority outcomes and associated performance indicators. This procurement demonstrates that it is possible to focus on quality and outcomes whilst delivering sizable cashable savings.”
Work on the new facilities, which will be completed by September 2017, will see more than £3m spent on improving the buildings and nearly £0.7m spent on new equipment. Users of Westway Sports and Fitness will get brand new changing rooms, bigger gyms with new equipment, a new street-side café and a larger bouldering area within the climbing centre. Work will commence early next year and is due to be completed by Autumn 2017.
In addition to extensive refurbishment and new facilities, Everyone Active will bring career opportunities to the more than 100 staff currently employed in the sports and fitness enterprise as well as creating up to 15 new apprenticeship positions in the area every year. The partnership is the result of an extensive search by Westway Trust to find a way to improve the facilities for local people so as to encourage physical activity and enable healthier behaviours. Over the course of the ten-year agreement Westway Trust will retain ownership of the facilities which Everyone Active will lease and manage. The partnership between the two organisations will enhance current community programmes and schemes as well as protect concessionary pricing.