Printed Date: 28/03/2023

Our Story

Where did we come from?

In 1993, Greenwich Council needed to find a new way to run its leisure centres because of public spending cuts and together, we came up with a new model - the first of its kind in UK leisure. GLL was born.

Seven centres were transferred to us, and success quickly followed. We created jobs and added new services to existing leisure centres. Since then, we’ve built lots of new facilities in the UK and our membership has gone from about 7,000 to more than 850,000 with 58 million visitors a year.

In 1996, we began expanding outside Greenwich and now run all kinds of community services and spaces across the UK - from Belfast to Bromley, Carlisle to Cardiff.

What do we do?

We exist to make community services and spaces better for everyone. That means providing affordable access to quality community leisure and fitness facilities. We manage more than 270 public sport and leisure centres, 113 libraries in partnership with 50 local councils, public agencies and sporting organisations.

Where are we heading?

GLL is now almost 30 years old and we’re as excited about the future today, as we were back in 1993.

At GLL we don't just run leisure centres, swimming pools, lidos or gyms - we provide for the whole community running libraries, theatres, children's centres, playgrounds, nurseries and so much more. All of which we run in our charitable, community-focused way.

We believe our values and purpose have never been more relevant and hope we can continue to make a difference in as many communities as possible across the UK.


About Better

Where did Better come from?

Better is GLL’s customer-facing brand. Better and GLL have a similar look and feel, but when you visit our centres, you will mostly see the Better brand alongside our valued partners.

Our Better brand puts the customer at the heart of everything we do. A facility operated by Better aims to provide community services and spaces, provide the solution to social challenge by benefitting the whole community, no matter their background. 

What do we do?

We promote healthy and active lifestyles, giving communities access to facilities that help improve their health and happiness through participation in activities. It could be gyms, swimming pools, libraries, playgrounds; even huge, world-class venues such as those on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Regional Park. We offer great variety.

But we also provide more than access. As a charitable social enterprise, we invest in our communities. And it’s not just money - we also invest time and effort in encouraging everyone to take advantage of our services.

Any surplus money is reinvested into making those services even better, either by training our people or upgrading our facilities.

Where are we heading?

We want to help more people, in more communities, feel better. We’re evolving  services and spaces all the time and expanding to reach new parts of the community. We are putting our customers first with an ambitious programme to modernise the digital journey to reduce queues and improve convenience with a focus on good-quality, affordable services that people want. This is all to make day-to-day life in our communities even better.

If you’d like to speak to us about any new business opportunities, please click here.