Parkwood Leisure selected as preferred bidder at the Royal Borough

(left to right) Parkwood Holdings’ chief executive Andrew Holt, Councillor Eileen Quick, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and libraries and Eva Holmes, chair of the trustees of Legacy Leisure.

Residents in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are set to benefit from enhanced services and improved facilities following the council’s decision to appoint one of the UK’s leading leisure management companies to run its leisure centres.

Parkwood Leisure, which manages more than 80 facilities on behalf of 25 local authorities in England and Wales, will invest £700,000 during the first year of its 20-year contract which begins on 7th January, 2015.

The funding will be used to purchase new equipment and refurbish gyms, cafeterias and other public areas at the Windsor, Magnet, Cox Green and Charters leisure centres as well as the Furze Platt site which is due to open in May 2015.

Parkwood Leisure will operate the contract with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead via a sub-contracting arrangement with Legacy Leisure, an independent charitable trust. Existing leisure centre staff employed by the council will transfer across to this organisation under TUPE.

Commenting on the appointment, chief executive of Parkwood Holdings, Andrew Holt, said: “We are delighted to have secured this contract and we’re looking forward to it starting early in the New Year.

“Appointing a specialist leisure management operator brings obvious benefits and we are confident that existing centre users and staff will soon notice significant differences in terms of enhanced facilities, improved marketing and a greater choice of sports and leisure activities.”

The extended programme will feature Parkwood’s successful brands, including Sway Dance, Expressions Health and Fitness, Camp Adventure and Aqua Zone swimming lessons.

Users will also benefit from the introduction of on-line booking and joining while centres will have dedicated website pages which can be accessed via www.leisurecentre.com.

Eva Holmes, chair of the trustees of Legacy Leisure, said: “We’re excited to be operating the Royal Borough’s leisure centres on behalf of Parkwood and we will be working extremely hard over the next few months to ensure we hit the ground running.

“Legacy’s aim is to inspire communities to lead more active, healthy and fulfilling lifestyles and whilst we’ll be looking after existing members and centre users, we will also be reaching out to attract new users, including those who don’t currently do much exercise but are keen to improve their health and wellbeing.”

Councillor Eileen Quick, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and libraries, said: “We look forward to working with Parkwood for the benefit of our residents.

“Leisure centre users can expect improved leisure facilities and online booking, retention of popular schemes such as Advantage Card discount and SMILE – and bringing in this highly experienced and professional management company means our residents also get best value for money without selling off any of our assets.

“The increased revenue generated from the contract will be ploughed into other council services which will further benefit our residents.”