Bristol leisure centres set for multi-million-pound investment as part of new leisure contract

More than £8m of investment has been announced for Bristol’s major leisure and sporting facilities. This is part of a new 15-year deal between Bristol City Council and Everyone Active. The investment from the council is in addition to Everyone Active utilising £4.7m of its own funds over the course of the contract, which will begin on 1st April 2023.

Following a tender process, the new contract will see Everyone Active extend its relationship with the council and continue to manage Horfield Leisure Centre, Bristol South Swimming Pool, Henbury Leisure Centre, Easton Leisure Centre and St Pauls Community Sports Academy.

Everyone Active, which is set to become a Living Wage employer from April this year, is the longest-established operator in the UK, managing a portfolio of more than 200 centres for local authorities across the country.

As a result of the significant investment, extensive refurbishment work will take place throughout the next three years at all sites to transform, modernise and expand the current offering.

Larger fitness suites will be unveiled with the latest equipment suitable for all levels including free weights, strength and conditioning, and functional training kit. Meanwhile, state-of-the-art studios, 3G pitch replacements, brand new soft play areas and cafes are among the new features planned.

A raft of decarbonisation measures will also be rolled out to maximise energy conservation in line with the council’s One City Climate Strategy to become carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030.

The new contract has a strong focus on social value and the council and its leisure provider will work together with local schools and colleges to support local people into employment with new opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements.

Everyone Active has also appointed a Civic Partnership Manager to directly focus on social value in Bristol, to work with other agencies to encourage participation outside the leisure facilities. This will include improving levels of health and wellbeing and reducing anti-social behaviour by using activity for positive behaviour change.

Gary Teagle, Everyone Active’s Contract Manager, said: “We are delighted to be extending our work with Bristol City Council. We’ve got robust plans to support the council’s vision for leisure across the city to provide high-quality sports and leisure facilities that everyone has the opportunity to make the most out of.

“This is a real investment in the future which will hopefully pay dividends for years to come. The buildings will be greener than ever before, and the developments will bring a significant boost to the city. We are delighted that we have been chosen to support the council’s exciting plans.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “I am pleased to announce this continued multi-million-pound partnership with Everyone Active. We know that exercising regularly is great for both the body and mind, but access to good facilities for all levels of fitness and accessibility needs can be an issue. This investment shows our ongoing commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of residents in Bristol.

“The work planned will include renovating the Everyone Active centres and providing new, modern facilities for people to enjoy. Alongside this we will be working together to help meet our One City Climate Strategy; maintain a strong focus on social value, with Everyone Active now paying the real Living Wage; and how local communities can utilise the facilities to help combat anti-social behaviour.”