Decision details

Update on the Operation of Leisure Facilities b y Greenwich Leisure Limited and Acceptance of the National Leisure Recovery Grant

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report providing an update on the award and commencement of the new leisure contract, informing the Committee of the award of funding from the National Leisure Recovery Fund (NLRF) in the sum of £160,772 to support the reopening of the leisure sector post-COVID-19 and of the Council’s application for £1.5m from Sport England Strategic Facilities Fund.

The report explained that, further to Minute 62 of the Policy Committee meeting held on 20 January 2020, Greenwich Leisure Ltd had been awarded a 25-year design, build, operate and maintain contract for Boroughwide leisure facilities. 

Paul Shearman and Jamie Coleshill of GLL gave a presentation outlining service provision and contract delivery.  The presentation covered the following areas:

·       Capital Investment in Reading’s leisure facilities;

·       Timetable for the works to be carried out;

·       Plans detailing the works that would be carried out at each site;

·       Details of the recovery progress post Covid-19, which was better than the national average;

·       The next phase;

·       Energy and environmental improvements and links to the BerkshiRe Active Healthy Me programme.

The report also explained that, in December 2020, Sport England had launched the NLRF to support publicly owned leisure facilities through the Covid-19 crisis and applications had been accepted from local authorities in England who had outsourced their leisure centre provision to external operators.  The Council had submitted a bid for NLRF funding of £149,000 in respect of Rivermead Leisure Centre and had been awarded a total of £160,772 comprising the full bid amount, plus an additional £10,230 grant funding and a £1,542 monitoring and evaluation grant.  The Council had accepted the NLRF grant on Sport England’s standard terms and conditions on 9 March 2021.

The report further stated that, in July 2021, the Council had applied to Sport England for further £1.5million from its Strategic Facilities Fund to support the new leisure developments at both Rivermead and Palmer Park.  The Council was awaiting the decision from Sport England in respect of its bid submission.

Resolved –

(1)        That GLL be thanked for their presentation in respect of para 4.1.1 of the report;

(2)        That the award and commencement of the new leisure contract to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) on 1 July 2021 for a term of 25 years be noted;

(3)        That the successful application and acceptance of Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund (NLRF) grant of £160,772 to support the reopening of the Rivermead Leisure Centre post Covid-19 lockdowns be noted;

(4)        That Executive Director for Environment, Neighbourhoods and Economic Growth, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Heath Wellbeing and Sport, allocate funding of £160,772 from NLRF grant award to GLL, the operator of Rivermead Leisure Centre on behalf of the Council;

(5)        That the submission of the funding application to Sport England for £1.5m contribution to the construction cost of the new leisure facilities at Rivermead and Palmer Park be noted;

(6)        That the Executive Director for Environment, Neighbourhoods and Economic Growth, in consultation with the Assistant Director for Legal & Democratic Services, the Director of Finance and the Lead Councillor for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, be authorised to:

(i)         accept an award of funding from Sport England’s Strategic Facilities Fund, subject to acceptable grant terms and conditions;

(ii)        enter into the related grant agreement with Sport England; and

(iii)       be legally empowered to act on behalf of the Council for all purposes connected with the grant agreement, including the authority to spend this money in line with the grant funding terms.

Publication date: 09/01/2024

Date of decision: 10/11/2021

Decided at meeting: 10/11/2021 - Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee

Accompanying Documents: