New management for Barking and Dagenham’s leisure centres
PUBLISHED: 11:19 20 June 2017
Two leisure centres and a stadium are set to go under new management as Barking and Dagenham Council seeks to bring two million people a year to the former Olympic host borough’s venues.
Sports Leisure Management Ltd (SLM) has been tasked with improving attendence at the Abbey and Becontree Heath Leisure Centres and the Jim Peters Stadium.
It comes as part of the council’s drive to get more people active and combat obesity in a borough that has one of the worst health rates in the country – despite hosting training camps during London 2012.
SLM, which trades as Everyone Active, was named the preferred bidder to manage the three venues last week following a nine month tender process.
Already operating facilities in 44 other local authorities, it will take on a 10-year contract, and is committed to increasing activity levels in the centre by 35 per cent.
Cllr Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration, said: “We have one of the worst records on obesity and life expectancy in Britain and, while getting more people into our leisure centres is not the sole solution, it’s one of the ways to a healthier, fitter borough.
“SLM will not only maintain the borough’s reputation of having some of the best leisure centres in the country but will also massively increase opportunities for residents to get fit, to stay healthy and have fun!”
David Bibby, managing director of SLM, added: “It is a really exciting time for sports and leisure in the borough, and we are delighted to have been chosen to use our extensive skills and experience to get more people active.
“We are very much looking forward to working with the council to improve the health and wellbeing of the borough by offering an extensive range of sports and activity opportunities.”
The council will continue to own the leisure centres and the stadium but they will be run by the new operator, with existing activities and concessions set to continue.
Staff working at the sites will become direct employees of SLM, with their existing terms and conditions protected.
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