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Latest news

Jamie Groves on the importance of the UK Leisure Framework

Denbighshire Leisure has recently launched its third generation dedicated Leisure Framework naming Alliance Leisure as its continuing lead development contractor. Managing director of Denbighshire Leisure Jamie Groves explores the vital role the framework will play in the creation of active, healthy and economically prosperous communities across the UK.

How did the UK Leisure Framework come about?

Denbighshire Leisure is a Trading Company Limited by Guarantee, incorporated in November 2019, before going ‘live’ as a company in April 2020.

Prior to being incorporated, it was an internal council service, delivering leisure services to the residents and visitors of Denbighshire.

Denbighshire Leisure’s journey began in 2008, with my appointment as head of leisure services in the Council.

At the time of my appointment, Denbighshire Leisure was a single service in the council, and following a Wales Audit Office review, was considered to be in special measures.

Fast forward 14 years and it’s now recognised for sector-leading facilities and practices.

A Council service that started with one brand in need of modernisation, is now a company made up of over 20 distinct brands as part of the overall business offer, which includes best in class adventure play areas, restaurants, tourist attractions, leisure clubs and leisure centres.

At the time, turning a vision into reality was a hugely bold ambition. Years of austerity measures had chipped away at the council’s resources, creating an environment where core services such as social care, education and transport were struggling to meet demand.

Leisure, a non-statutory provision, was low on the priority list.

Continuing to manage the leisure portfolio as it had always been would never scratch the surface of the ambition; we needed a completely new approach, driven by innovation, efficiency and a dog-eared determination to succeed.

Central to our strategy was the launch of our first dedicated Leisure Framework. Introducing this provided an efficient and cost-effective means of procuring and delivering leisure development works.

In 2017, we officially established the first dedicated leisure framework – the UK Leisure Framework – with open access to public sector bodies, principally local authorities. We appointed specialist leisure developer, Alliance Leisure, as lead development contractor to drive the framework and manage a network of appointed suppliers at all levels of the supply chain.

How does the UK Leisure Framework differ to other frameworks?

Our Framework is unlike traditional construction frameworks, while its focus on leisure sets it apart from most, it’s the fact that it offers an end-to-end solution that makes it truly unique.

In addition to procuring and developing physical infrastructure, the framework offers services that contribute to the whole business solution, providing an efficient and effective means of increasing opportunities for physical activity through inspiring active spaces.

Design and facility mix decisions result from comprehensive, evidence-based feasibility studies, which are supported by our expertise, gathered from more than 30 years of leisure development experience.

The UK Leisure Framework is also able to provide ongoing support to drive community engagement via Alliance Leisure’s marketing and training team, TA6.

This helps to ensure the investment delivers a long-term sustainable outcome that breaks down barriers to inclusion and engagement, tackles health inequalities and brings about economic, health and social change.

What kind of projects has the UK Leisure Framework delivered?

There is no typical framework development. Projects have ranged from multi-million-pound new build leisure centres and waterparks, to smaller-scale play areas, skate parks, pump tracks and 3G pitches.

Whatever the project value, the Framework’s focus is always on the delivery of community value. An inexpensive play park refurbishment can have a huge impact on the long-term health and wellbeing of a community.

The Framework is also supporting wider government agendas. For example, several current projects are utilising government levelling-up funding to address regional inequalities in health and wellbeing, while others are tapping into Public Sector Decarbonisation funding to help local authorities achieve their net-zero carbon emission targets by improving energy efficiency across their leisure estate.

Which UK Leisure Framework project are you most proud of?

There are so many. For me, I believe that what we are achieving via the Framework across Denbighshire is a great example of how the Framework is positively impacting whole communities.

Through the Framework, Denbighshire Leisure has transformed Denbighshire from one of the country’s most deprived territories in terms of leisure provision into a thriving example of best practice.

Not only has our investment elevated the leisure experience for residents and visitors, but it has also acted as a catalyst for much broader, positive change. We are not done yet; we are continuing to invest.

Take the SC2 development in Rhyl for example. In 2019, Denbighshire County Council celebrated the opening of a £17m destination waterpark and adventure centre, SC2, delivered via the UK Leisure Framework. The development features a number of indoor and outdoor water features including a splash pad and a variety of flumes. The facility also launched the first TAGactive facility in Wales.

The attraction has achieved a Gold Award from Visit Wales for the all-round quality of the visitor experience and in its first summer season was attracting 10,000 visitors a week.

This kind of uplift in footfall has acted as a catalyst for further regeneration of the promenade and the town centre which now boasts a myriad of sustainable shops, restaurants and hotels. The area has been completely transformed from a tired, under-utilised seafront to a thriving promenade that is delivering huge commercial and social value.

The UK Leisure Framework is supporting the complete reimagining of leisure provision across Denbighshire through a winning combination of design and facility mix decisions driven by comprehensive feasibility studies, leisure expertise that pushes the boundaries of innovation, efficient project management and a focus on commercial sustainability.

Projects have included the complete overhaul of the food and beverage provision within our leisure facilities to create bespoke dining experiences that people want to repeat time and time again. These facilities within facilities are not just performing a function, they are attractions in their own right, driving footfall and encouraging cross facility commercial fertilisation that is driving our sustainability agenda.

Is this new iteration of the UK Framework any different to its predecessor?

The general premise is the same. The main notable difference is the Framework value. This has jumped from £750m to £2bn, providing much more scope.

Right now, the Framework has a committed pipeline of development projects with a total value of more than £250m, leaving plenty of opportunity for many more projects over the coming years.

Also, this Framework has now proved its value to the market. So far, 25 local authorities have completed works through the Framework – many of whom have returned multiple times to commission new projects. Working alongside Alliance Leisure, Denbighshire Leisure will continue to promote the Framework, showcasing past projects to demonstrate what is possible and to highlight the value in engaging this end-to-end leisure specialist Framework.

So what’s next?

Despite leisure being a non-statutory requirement, the value a quality leisure provision delivers to a community is now well-proven and we’re continuing to evidence this through the achievements of Denbighshire Leisure across the county and through the nationwide achievements of the UK Leisure Framework projects.

Creating commercially sustainable, active environments that directly answer the needs and motivations of communities has far reaching economic, health and social benefits, which extend beyond raising activity levels. Alliance Leisure has more than 30 years experience working with a trusted network of equally experienced suppliers to design and build leisure facilities that engage all segments of the community they serve. I am extremely excited by what the UK Leisure Framework can achieve over the next four years.

What advice would you give to local authorities with tired and under-performing leisure stock?

Get in touch with Alliance Leisure and have a conversation. Through the UK Leisure Framework we can open funding and procurement doors you may not have considered. I truly believe, where there is a will there's a way. Together we can unlock the potential to create happy, healthy and prosperous communities through effective and efficient leisure development.

Key UK Leisure Framework Facts

Who owns the UK Leisure Framework: Denbighshire Leisure.Lead Development Contractor: Alliance Leisure.

Number of developments delivered to date: 58.Value of completed projects: £75m.

Value of committed projects: £250m+.Number of New Build Developments: 4.

Total value of the new UKLF: £2bn.

Do you have something to say about the health and fitness industry? Would you like to write an opinion piece for us? Call Jan Williams on +44(0)1462 471909
Denbighshire Leisure has recently launched its third generation dedicated Leisure Framework naming Alliance Leisure as its continuing lead development contractor.
HAF
2022/THUMB349329_58320_454387.jpg
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Jamie Groves on the importance of the UK Leisure Framework

Denbighshire Leisure has recently launched its third generation dedicated Leisure Framework naming Alliance Leisure as its continuing lead development contractor. Managing director of Denbighshire Leisure Jamie Groves explores the vital role the framework will play in the creation of active, healthy and economically prosperous communities across the UK.

How did the UK Leisure Framework come about?

Denbighshire Leisure is a Trading Company Limited by Guarantee, incorporated in November 2019, before going ‘live’ as a company in April 2020.

Prior to being incorporated, it was an internal council service, delivering leisure services to the residents and visitors of Denbighshire.

Denbighshire Leisure’s journey began in 2008, with my appointment as head of leisure services in the Council.

At the time of my appointment, Denbighshire Leisure was a single service in the council, and following a Wales Audit Office review, was considered to be in special measures.

Fast forward 14 years and it’s now recognised for sector-leading facilities and practices.

A Council service that started with one brand in need of modernisation, is now a company made up of over 20 distinct brands as part of the overall business offer, which includes best in class adventure play areas, restaurants, tourist attractions, leisure clubs and leisure centres.

At the time, turning a vision into reality was a hugely bold ambition. Years of austerity measures had chipped away at the council’s resources, creating an environment where core services such as social care, education and transport were struggling to meet demand.

Leisure, a non-statutory provision, was low on the priority list.

Continuing to manage the leisure portfolio as it had always been would never scratch the surface of the ambition; we needed a completely new approach, driven by innovation, efficiency and a dog-eared determination to succeed.

Central to our strategy was the launch of our first dedicated Leisure Framework. Introducing this provided an efficient and cost-effective means of procuring and delivering leisure development works.

In 2017, we officially established the first dedicated leisure framework – the UK Leisure Framework – with open access to public sector bodies, principally local authorities. We appointed specialist leisure developer, Alliance Leisure, as lead development contractor to drive the framework and manage a network of appointed suppliers at all levels of the supply chain.

How does the UK Leisure Framework differ to other frameworks?

Our Framework is unlike traditional construction frameworks, while its focus on leisure sets it apart from most, it’s the fact that it offers an end-to-end solution that makes it truly unique.

In addition to procuring and developing physical infrastructure, the framework offers services that contribute to the whole business solution, providing an efficient and effective means of increasing opportunities for physical activity through inspiring active spaces.

Design and facility mix decisions result from comprehensive, evidence-based feasibility studies, which are supported by our expertise, gathered from more than 30 years of leisure development experience.

The UK Leisure Framework is also able to provide ongoing support to drive community engagement via Alliance Leisure’s marketing and training team, TA6.

This helps to ensure the investment delivers a long-term sustainable outcome that breaks down barriers to inclusion and engagement, tackles health inequalities and brings about economic, health and social change.

What kind of projects has the UK Leisure Framework delivered?

There is no typical framework development. Projects have ranged from multi-million-pound new build leisure centres and waterparks, to smaller-scale play areas, skate parks, pump tracks and 3G pitches.

Whatever the project value, the Framework’s focus is always on the delivery of community value. An inexpensive play park refurbishment can have a huge impact on the long-term health and wellbeing of a community.

The Framework is also supporting wider government agendas. For example, several current projects are utilising government levelling-up funding to address regional inequalities in health and wellbeing, while others are tapping into Public Sector Decarbonisation funding to help local authorities achieve their net-zero carbon emission targets by improving energy efficiency across their leisure estate.

Which UK Leisure Framework project are you most proud of?

There are so many. For me, I believe that what we are achieving via the Framework across Denbighshire is a great example of how the Framework is positively impacting whole communities.

Through the Framework, Denbighshire Leisure has transformed Denbighshire from one of the country’s most deprived territories in terms of leisure provision into a thriving example of best practice.

Not only has our investment elevated the leisure experience for residents and visitors, but it has also acted as a catalyst for much broader, positive change. We are not done yet; we are continuing to invest.

Take the SC2 development in Rhyl for example. In 2019, Denbighshire County Council celebrated the opening of a £17m destination waterpark and adventure centre, SC2, delivered via the UK Leisure Framework. The development features a number of indoor and outdoor water features including a splash pad and a variety of flumes. The facility also launched the first TAGactive facility in Wales.

The attraction has achieved a Gold Award from Visit Wales for the all-round quality of the visitor experience and in its first summer season was attracting 10,000 visitors a week.

This kind of uplift in footfall has acted as a catalyst for further regeneration of the promenade and the town centre which now boasts a myriad of sustainable shops, restaurants and hotels. The area has been completely transformed from a tired, under-utilised seafront to a thriving promenade that is delivering huge commercial and social value.

The UK Leisure Framework is supporting the complete reimagining of leisure provision across Denbighshire through a winning combination of design and facility mix decisions driven by comprehensive feasibility studies, leisure expertise that pushes the boundaries of innovation, efficient project management and a focus on commercial sustainability.

Projects have included the complete overhaul of the food and beverage provision within our leisure facilities to create bespoke dining experiences that people want to repeat time and time again. These facilities within facilities are not just performing a function, they are attractions in their own right, driving footfall and encouraging cross facility commercial fertilisation that is driving our sustainability agenda.

Is this new iteration of the UK Framework any different to its predecessor?

The general premise is the same. The main notable difference is the Framework value. This has jumped from £750m to £2bn, providing much more scope.

Right now, the Framework has a committed pipeline of development projects with a total value of more than £250m, leaving plenty of opportunity for many more projects over the coming years.

Also, this Framework has now proved its value to the market. So far, 25 local authorities have completed works through the Framework – many of whom have returned multiple times to commission new projects. Working alongside Alliance Leisure, Denbighshire Leisure will continue to promote the Framework, showcasing past projects to demonstrate what is possible and to highlight the value in engaging this end-to-end leisure specialist Framework.

So what’s next?

Despite leisure being a non-statutory requirement, the value a quality leisure provision delivers to a community is now well-proven and we’re continuing to evidence this through the achievements of Denbighshire Leisure across the county and through the nationwide achievements of the UK Leisure Framework projects.

Creating commercially sustainable, active environments that directly answer the needs and motivations of communities has far reaching economic, health and social benefits, which extend beyond raising activity levels. Alliance Leisure has more than 30 years experience working with a trusted network of equally experienced suppliers to design and build leisure facilities that engage all segments of the community they serve. I am extremely excited by what the UK Leisure Framework can achieve over the next four years.

What advice would you give to local authorities with tired and under-performing leisure stock?

Get in touch with Alliance Leisure and have a conversation. Through the UK Leisure Framework we can open funding and procurement doors you may not have considered. I truly believe, where there is a will there's a way. Together we can unlock the potential to create happy, healthy and prosperous communities through effective and efficient leisure development.

Key UK Leisure Framework Facts

Who owns the UK Leisure Framework: Denbighshire Leisure.Lead Development Contractor: Alliance Leisure.

Number of developments delivered to date: 58.Value of completed projects: £75m.

Value of committed projects: £250m+.Number of New Build Developments: 4.

Total value of the new UKLF: £2bn.

Do you have something to say about the health and fitness industry? Would you like to write an opinion piece for us? Call Jan Williams on +44(0)1462 471909
Denbighshire Leisure has recently launched its third generation dedicated Leisure Framework naming Alliance Leisure as its continuing lead development contractor.
HAF
2022/THUMB349329_58320_454387.jpg

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