Start of a new chapter for Southsea’s Pyramids Centre

TAKING OVER Claire Looney, Portsmouth City Council's commissioning manager for culture with BH Live chief executive Peter Gunn, Cllr Lee Hunt and BH Live director of leisure facilities Mike Lyons.
TAKING OVER Claire Looney, Portsmouth City Council's commissioning manager for culture with BH Live chief executive Peter Gunn, Cllr Lee Hunt and BH Live director of leisure facilities Mike Lyons.
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A NEW leisure operator has been appointed at the helm of The Pyramids Centre.

BH Live, which already runs venues including Bournemouth International Centre, has officially taken over managerial duties.

Yesterday, it signed a five-year contract to run the Southsea venue on behalf of Portsmouth City Council.

The organisation was chosen by councillors to take over from former operators Southsea Community Leisure Limited (SCLL) earlier in the year.

The previous operators needed £800,000 a year since 2011 to help keep things going and a £2.86m loan from the council was written off.

A fitness studio will be created and there will be more fitness classes, entertainment and improved swimming facilities.

Peter Gunn, chief executive of BH Live, said the main priority was making improvements. He said: ‘We have been welcomed into the centre and are currently focusing on getting all of the fundamentals right; most importantly listening to customer feedback, the teams’ ideas and making sure the centre continues to operate as usual as we settle in.’

‘Our priorities are, with the support of city partners and the local community, to improve the leisure and event facilities, encourage more local residents and visitors to get active and enjoy our event programme.

‘To enable this to happen, we will be undertaking a programme of improvements across the health and fitness facilities. We will also be looking at how we can improve the retail, catering and hospitality offer to create relaxed, accessible and attractive spaces for customers and visitors to enjoy our food and drink.’

The council will give BH Live £2m towards running costs during the course of its contract.

Councillor Lee Hunt, the council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport said: ‘I’m thrilled, happy and delighted with the friendly collaboration we’ve had with BH Live, and look forward to a dynamic partnership in the future.’

A series of open evenings will soon take place for people who want to hear about planned improvements.