Achieve Lifestyle takes over leisure centres
20 April 2011
Runnymede Borough Council handed over the running of two leisure centres to a charitable trust formed out of the facilities management team and other staff.
Achieve Lifestyle, with the centres’ former facilities manager Hazel Aitken as chief executive, took over Egham and Addlestone centres on April 1.
The changes at the Surrey council means decision-making should be a lot quicker, Aitken told FM World. “Previously we were managed through council services but now we’re accountable to the Charity’s board of directors.”
The not-for-profit charity took on the 35 permanent staff and around 100 part-time workers including coaches, session teachers and trainers, said Aitken who has worked at the centres for seven years.
She has 20 years experience in running leisure centres, including with the South Lanarkshire council in Scotland.
Runnymede Council was looking to save money and last summer closed Addlestone during the day.
Aitken told local media that reopening Addlestone during the day is an option because, as a not-for-profit charity, Achieve Lifetsyle will be ploughing all money back into the business, which is about running the centres as efficiently as possible.
The Achieve Lifestyle contract is for 15 years and trust receives a small management fee from the borough council. Prices and services at both leisure centres are expected to remain the same for the next 12 months.