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Revealed: new custodian for top Stroud leisure facility

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Stroud’s major leisure centre will be run by Stroud District Council from November next year.

Last night (Thursday) councillors approved taking Stratford Park Leisure Centre (SPLC) under SDC control.

Contractor Sports and Leisure Management (SLM) has run SPLC since 2011 but from November 1, 2024 it will be run by the council’s new Leisure Services Team. Existing staff will be transferred over to SDC.

SPLC was opened in 1975. The indoor pool was opened in the 70s by Olympic gold medallist David Wilkie and once hosted wrestling stars Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks as well as snooker star Doug Mountjoy.

Stratford Park Leisure Centre web | Revealed: new custodian for top Stroud leisure facility
Stratford Park Leisure Centre

Fast-forward to today and the centre boasts an all-weather pitch, indoor sports hall, an indoor pool and outdoor Lido, squash courts, gym, sauna and recently-refurbished tennis courts.

There are currently a total 69 contracted staff employed by SLM who will be transferred to the Council. These staff will be protected by the Transfer of Undertakings for the Protection of Employees (TUPE) Regulations as well as 30 casual staff.

“Our leisure services in Stroud district are all about enhancing the quality of life for residents, and this change for Stratford Park Leisure Centre gives us the opportunity to provide great facilities and services in Stroud, as we do already at the Pulse in Dursley.

“We decided to bring the Stroud leisure centre back in-house, following extensive consultation, and consideration of different operating models. There was wide support for this approach which was assessed as the best option for the community and customer experience,” said Council Leader, Catherine Braun, following a debate led by Community Services and Licensing Committee Chair, Beki Aldam.

Deputy Leader Natalie Bennett added: “One of the Council’s key objectives is to adopt a long-term investment plan for leisure services and facilities across the district. Running SPLC ourselves will ensure everyone has access to good quality leisure opportunities that meet their needs.”

The decision was taken at Full Council, and it means the operation of SPLC will mirror  the way The Pulse leisure centre in Dursley is run. The Pulse is performing within the upper quartile when measured against the performance of other leisure providers in the UK.

The new arrangement will bring many benefits including working closely with the NHS and other charitable organisations on preventative health and wellbeing programmes, and promoting physical and mental health activities at no or low cost to the user.

SPLC was opened in 1975 and has an all-weather pitch, indoor sports hall, an indoor pool and outdoor Lido, squash courts, gym, sauna and recently-refurbished tennis courts.

There are currently a total 69 contracted staff employed by SLM who will be transferred to the Council. These staff will be protected by the Transfer of Undertakings for the Protection of Employees (TUPE) Regulations as well as 30 casual staff.

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