From 1st April 2014, GLL will be running Sobell Leisure Centre, Highbury Leisure Centre, Archway Leisure Centre, Cally Pool, Finsbury Leisure Centre, Islington Tennis Centre and Gym, Market Road artificial turf pitches, in a long-term partnership with Islington Council which will see £10 million invested into the facilities over the next 15 years.
Funding has already been earmarked for a number of initiatives which include extending the gym and building new changing rooms at Archway Leisure Centre, introducing a new group exercise studio and expanding gym facilities at Islington Tennis Centre and Gym, creating an extreme adventure activity area at Sobell Leisure Centre and improving the health and fitness offer at Highbury Leisure Centre.
This new partnership has a strong focus on increasing participation, reducing health inequalities and improving social inclusion. GLL is also committed to the Council’s fairness agenda and developing local employment opportunities, particularly amongst young people, through GLL’s apprenticeship scheme. All staff will be paid the London Living Wage, while Izz cards and existing memberships will continue to be valid, meaning it will be business as usual for customers. Talented athletes across the borough will also be able to access funding from the GLL Sport Foundation and GLL manages all Islington teams for the London Youth Games.
Our leisure centres provide a wide variety of activities to suit people of all ages and abilities, from baby bounce to sessions for older people. We are fortunate to have four swimming pools in the Borough. They are well used, especially by school children, and our concessions for older residents and disabled people mean that swimming is free at off-peak times. Fitness classes take place at most of the centres, and are extremely popular, many having waiting lists every week. GLL have an exciting programme of improvements at many centres, and already we are seeing the benefits.
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director of GLL said, "We are delighted to have been invited to extend our partnership with Islington Council and are committed to providing first class leisure and sporting facilities to local residents.
"We believe our experience – GLL currently operates more than 130 public leisure centres across England and Wales – coupled with our status as a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise means that we have both the operational skills and community focus that will enable us to successfully operate a range of facilities across the borough."