The UK’s largest social enterprise GLL will be delivering leisure services at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester’s ‘Sugden Sports Centre’ from April, under the ‘Better’ brand.

The City Centre facility currently includes a gym, sports hall and fitness class facilities, plus a popular external 3G football pitch.   The contract will begin with a £3 million project, funded by the universities, to refurbish and upgrade facilities in the gym, reception area and changing rooms.  This project will be delivered through close partnership working between the universities and GLL over the next six months.

Students, university staff and the general public will have access to new gym, fitness class and community programmes to increase participation and existing staff will benefit from extensive training and development opportunities.

Joe Rham, Regional Director for GLL’s North Region said:

“We are delighted to welcome Sugden Sports Centre to the GLL family, a growing national leisure network that now stretches from Belfast to Cardiff and from Cumbria to Lands End.

As a social enterprise, we put the community at the heart of everything we do.  So I am looking forward to seeing us expand participation, accessibility and inclusivity in improved and affordable facilities as we get more people in Manchester, more active, more often”.

In a joint statement, the universities said, “The Universities are excited to be entering into a partnership with GLL to deliver exceptional leisure facilities and services. Our aim is to provide a state of the art sports facility catering for staff and students from both institutions, which can maximise community and corporate opportunities, whilst supporting a full range of programmes from health & wellbeing to sporting excellence and is regarded as a significant sporting facility within the city.

We believe that GLL are the perfect partners to ensure we meet this aim, having significant experience in leisure facility management, staff development and social value impact.”

Existing staff and customers will transfer over to GLL on 1st April and are being communicated with directly during the transition process.  Users of the building will notice a change in branding as signage, websites and systems move over to the ‘Better’ brand, with minimal disruption during the first few days to allow these changes to happen.