‘…exciting new plans’
Hastings Borough Council has renewed its leisure management contract with East Sussex-based Freedom Leisure.
The award of a new five year contract to Freedom leisure was formally announced at an event held in Hasting’s Summerfields Leisure Centre last Thursday where staff were told the news and heard about what were described as ‘exciting new plans’.
Councillor Andy Batsford, the council’s lead member for leisure, was at the event, and said: “Leisure is vitally important for our residents and visitors, and I am delighted that we can continue the… partnership we have enjoyed with Freedom Leisure.
“The new contract… includes free swimming for all over 75s and under eights and also for some under 16s.”
Under the new deal there will also be recruitment of an ‘active communities officer’ to work on projects that improve the health and wellbeing of local residents. Mr Batsford added that a new climbing wall, a new inflatable for the swimming pool as well as a new gym and fitness equipment at Falaise and Summerfields were planned as well as improvements to the café at Summerfields.
He said: “My family are regular users of Summerfields, and it was good to meet the staff there last Thursday. I am passionate about improving the health of our community, and I want everyone to share this passion!”
Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Freedom Leisure managing director is delighted that his company has retained the contract in Hastings and secured it for a further five years: “Our staff do a tremendous job, and retaining the contract is a tribute to the staff, and their hard work,” he said.
Freedom Leisure has been in Hastings for more than 12 years, and has seen a 15 per cent increase in users in that time, with more than 4.6 million visitors to its in that time. Horsfall-Turner also pointed to the company’s proud record of teaching more than 1,000 children to swim each week.
“With Hastings Borough Council we have invested over £2m in our facilities here, and I am so pleased to be able to continue this partnership,’ he said.
Freedom Leisure is also looking forward to playing its part in the future of the Bohemia area. Mr Horsfall-Turner said his company was particularly keen to help the council develop options for a brand new leisure centre in the area, “that promises to be very exciting indeed,” he said