Portsmouth leisure scene to reap £1m benefits after BH Live clinches 10-year management deal

CITY leisure facilities are to benefit to the tune of £1m after a firm was awarded a 10-year contract to give them a major revamp and take control of their operations.

Tuesday, 8th November 2016, 12:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:08 pm
Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Portsmouth

BH Live will take on the management of Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre, Portsmouth Tennis Centre, Eastney Swimming Pool, Wimbledon Park Sports Centre and Charter Community Sports Centre from February 1.

The cultural trust already manages the council-owned Pyramids Centre, one of the region’s largest leisure and event venues.

BH Live bosses have pledged to ‘broaden the appeal’ of the six venues it’s now picked up to make them accessible to all.

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Mountbatten will get new children’s activities, a Terrace Café and a refurbished reception area. Multi-site membership, concessions for people on low income and pay-as-you-go prices will also be launched.

The changes mean ‘significant savings’ for the council, as it will no longer have to subsidise the facilities.

Tory culture boss, Cllr Linda Symes, 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.’