New operator takes over Arun’s leisure sites tomorrow

Bersted Park Community Centre is being taken over by Freedom Leisure                                                                                                   C140265-1
Bersted Park Community Centre is being taken over by Freedom Leisure C140265-1

About £1.5m of investment is set to be made in the Arun Leisure Centre in Felpham.

The facility will be run by a new operator from tomorrow.

Freedom Leisure has been given the contract to run sports sites across the Arun district for the next ten years.

The not-for-profit trust has pledged the leisure centre, off Felpham Way, will be among the first locations to benefit from its management as it ensures services remain at the highest standard.

The seven-figure sum will see a new reception and cafe area, with Costa Coffee available, among the improvements to be made along with better energy efficiency.

Bersted Park Community Centre, opened a couple of years ago among the new housing in North Bersted, is also one of the four major buildings for which Freedom Trust will be responsible for the coming decade.

Ivan Horsfall Turner, Freedom Leisure’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be officially starting our new partnership with Arun District Council.

“All four sites have great potential and loyal customers. We are looking forward to working on a wide range of new developments aimed at increasing community cohesion and encouraging positive lifestyles through sport.”

The district council operated the sites directly from its formation in 1974 until 2006. It then handed control to Inspire Leisure.

But Inspire was excluded from the council’s competitive tender process last year after Arun said it was not allowed to bid for the new contract.

Those talks ended in the contract going to Freedom Leisure. It has been involved in delivering leisure facilities and services for 14 years.

Among the 25 centres it operates in Sussex is the Six Villages Leisure Centre in Westergate as well as a host of similar sites around Brighton.

Cllr Paul Dendle, Arun’s cabinet member for leisure and amenities, said: “This is a very exciting time for leisure in the district and we are looking forward to seeing Freedom Leisure take ove the reins of our leisure contract.

“The company has a proven track record in managing leisure facilities and it is vital that every visit is a rewarding and enjoyable experience which encourages people of all ages to keep fit and active.”

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