Everyone Active will look after leisure centres for a seventh Hertfordshire council after securing a contract worth around half a million pounds.
The company, also known as Sport and Leisure Management, has secured a 10-year deal with North Herts Council to run its leisure centres, including the Letchworth and Hitchin outdoor swimming pools.
Stevenage Leisure Limited (SLL) lost out on the contract after 14 years in the district and centre members will be transferred to Everyone Active when the contract starts on Monday, April 1.
Councillor Steve Jarvis (LD, Weston and Sandon), who is responsible for leisure centres in North Herts, said: “The process for awarding the management contract for our leisure facilities was rigorous and exhaustive.
“We were determined to get the best possible deal for our residents, and I believe we have done that with our comprehensive partnership with Everyone Active.
“During the course of our partnership, there will be some exciting improvements to look forward to, not least the building of a gym extension at Royston Leisure Centre.
“We would like to thank SLL for their hard work over the last 14 years and their continuous efforts to improve our facilities.”
North Herts Council’s cabinet agreed to award the contract at a meeting on December 12, 2023. The authority named Everyone Active as its chosen operator in January after a “standstill” cooling-off period.
A meeting report notes the council must fund repairs due to cost £15,000 or more, which is a higher threshold than the existing contract. The report adds the council “will be responsible” for energy price rises throughout the contract, but Everyone Active must pay additional costs linked with increased usage.
North Herts Council papers from early 2023 show the authority planned to spend £1.95million by 2028 building an extension at Royston Leisure Centre, which is “close to capacity”.
Other planned spending included a £200,000 investment to replace a boiler at North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth in 2025 and a £150,000 pool flume replacement at the venue between 2028 and 2033.
Funding allocations will be updated as part of the 2024/25 budget setting process, which is due to wrap up by April, the authority’s cabinet has agreed.
Everyone Active took over contracts which SLL previously operated in next-door Central Bedfordshire and Stevenage, including the Dunstable Centre and Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre.
The firm also runs venues on behalf of the Dacorum, East Herts, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford district councils in Hertfordshire.
Duncan Jefford, Everyone Active regional director, said: “We are delighted to officially begin our partnership with North Herts Council soon and are looking forward to many successful years ahead.
“The fantastic centres within this contract are so important for health and wellbeing in local communities and, with plenty of exciting developments in the pipeline, we are incredibly privileged to be chosen to manage them.
“We look forward to creating a close, impactful relationship with the council in the coming years, alongside helping as many people as possible to get active.”
North Herts Council’s contract register, updated last November, shows SLL’s existing contract to run leisure centres in Letchworth, Hitchin and Royston is worth around £475,471 per annum.