Portsmouth’s leisure facilities are set for more than £1million of investment and improvements after Portsmouth City Council awarded BH Live a 10-year contract to manage six venues in the city.
Management of Mountbatten Leisure Centre, Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre, Portsmouth Tennis Centre, Eastney Swimming Pool, Wimbledon Park Sports Centre, and Charter Community Sports Centre will transfer to cultural trust BH Live on 1st February 2017.
BH Live already work with the council on the management of The Pyramids Centre on Southsea seafront, one of the region’s largest leisure and event venues. Since 2013, the trust have invested in Pyramids’ facilities and significantly increased activity participation and improved event programming.
The trust have pledged to broaden the appeal of the six additional venues to make them accessible to all and encourage more people to get more active.
This will include improving facilities at the sites, including new children’s activities, a Terrace Café, and a refurbished reception area at Mountbatten Leisure Centre.
Multi-site membership, concessions for people on low income, and pay-as-you-go prices will also be launched.
The change in management will mean significant savings for the council as it will no longer have to subsidise the facilities.
Councillor Linda Symes, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Sport, said: “This is an exciting move for the city and will reinvigorate the six centres involved. BH Live has successfully managed the Pyramids under some challenging conditions and extending that relationship can only be a positive thing.
“There are some big plans to invest in the sites and improve the facilities which should inspire more people to get out and use them. Not only will this help make Portsmouth residents more active, it will also make the council significant savings as we won’t have to subsidise the running of the centres.”
Peter Gunn, BH Live’s Chief Executive, said: “With shared ambition to increase community participation and improve services, we are delighted to extend our offer across Portsmouth, working closely with Portsmouth City Council to create a more active city.
“Improving the health and wellbeing of communities through physical activity, promoting major events and boosting sports development are high on our agenda, as is improving the overall quality of services, supporting the local economy and contributing to environmental improvements.”
Following the successful roll-out of its exercise referral and outreach programme at Pyramids, BH Live will continue working in consultation with the region’s health partners to further encourage those living with a range of health conditions to become more active and feel better.
An engaging aquatics programme is also set to be launched to boost participation in swimming.
Working with local stakeholders, steering groups, partners, community groups, and businesses, BH Live are committed to increase the profile of the city. Relationships with sports clubs will be developed to meet their needs and encourage people to be inspired by the city’s activity and sports development offer.
More than £1million of investment has been committed by the trust to improve the venues and create new and exciting facilities and activities under its BH Live Active, BH Live Events, and BH Live Hospitality brands.
BH Live will also look at the programming of events across the venues to maximise on sporting and cultural attendance and generating business tourism. They will also bring in catering expertise from its hospitality division operation currently operating in London and South East.