On your Marks! Croydon Council Teams with New Leisure Partner
1 March marks the transfer of Croydon’s Leisure to a new operator. The 20 year partnership with charitable social enterprise GLL is expected to return big investments into community health and wellbeing and upgrade Council-owned sport and leisure facilities across the borough.
The not-for-profit – which exists to get more people more active more often through its Better brand – will run the 7 leisure centres along with open spaces and parks – including outdoor pitches and courts, the Arena athletics track and Ashburton Hall.
An innovative outdoor programme will maximise the use of outdoor space to boost physical activity levels in the borough working in partnership with Silverfit, Our Parks and LTA.
GLL’s unique business model returns operating surpluses to reinvest in staff training and development, London Living Wage, facilities and grass roots community sports development. The contract promises an uplift in local employment, earn-while-you-learn training apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities.
Cllr Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “I’m delighted that through this partnership we will deliver first class leisure facilities that residents deserve. This will bring together a transformation of our leisure centres, combined with activity in 30 parks across Croydon and an exciting project at Ashburton Park and Hall.
“Working with an employee owned Social Enterprise that pays staff at least the London Living Wage is an important step in our council’s commitment to social justice.”
GLL’s Regional Director for London West, Simon Sen added: “We are very much looking forward to working in partnership with the council bringing the wider benefits of our Better brand to the residents of Croydon. These include significant investment in facilities and widening active participation through more use of the borough’s parks.”
Athletes in training will be able to apply for grants from the GLL Sports Foundation. www.gll.org