Council announces Better leisure provider as existing deal axed

Financial problems at Fusion Lifestyle lead council to end contract and sign new deal with Greenwich Leisure Ltd

Greenwich Leisure Ltd operates scores of facilities across London under the name 'Better'
Greenwich Leisure Ltd operates scores of facilities across London under the name ‘Better’

Enfield Council has announced it is ditching one leisure provider in favour of another.

Fusion Lifestyle’s contract to run Enfield’s leisure centres and swimming pools will end on 3rd December 2023, after an agreement was reached to end their deal early. The firm had been running the borough’s facilities since 2010.

A new provider, Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), will takeover the running of Enfield’s six council-owned leisure centres later this year. It will operate under its brand name, Better.

The move follows concerns raised by the council earlier this year over how Fusion was running Arnos Pool, Bramley Bowls Centre and Edmonton Green, Southbury, Albany and Southgate leisure centres.

A council report published in May stated Fusion’s finances had been “severely affected by the pandemic” and that since December last year, Albany, Edmonton and Southbury leisure centres had experienced “a significant number of maintenance faults that have impacted on the availability of the swimming pools”.

Council chiefs agreed at the time to produce an improvement plan with Fusion’s senior managers with the aim of bringing “stability” back to the service. However, this appears to have been unsuccessful, as it was announced today (Monday 18th) that Fusion will “refocus its strategic objectives to concentrate on other areas of its business”.

The council said it wished to “ensure a smooth and orderly handover” and “minimise any impact on users of the leisure facilities in Enfield”.

Chinelo Anyanwu, the council’s cabinet member for culture, open spaces and local economy, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to enter an agreement with GLL to provide excellent leisure facilities for the people of Enfield.

“We are working with GLL to ensure that there is a seamless transition so that staff and users of our leisure centres are not impacted by the change of provider. We will also invite community groups who use these facilities to meet with GLL, to discuss arrangements going forward.

“We look forward to working with GLL to further shape and develop the borough’s sports and leisure provision.

“Enfield Council is committed to improving leisure and sports opportunities for local people to enable more active lifestyles which in turn will support stronger, healthier and safer communities.”

GLL is a not-for-profit social enterprise with 30 years’ experience in the industry, running more than 250 sports and leisure facilities in London and across the UK.

Peter Bundey, CEO of GLL, said: “Our new partnership with Enfield Council brings staff and customers of the six leisure centres into the ‘GLL family’, with the key aim of improving services for everyone.

“GLL’s award-winning, charitable social enterprise model offers huge benefits to public services as we don’t have shareholders to pay and can invest back into grass roots programmes, facilities and our charitable foundations to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.

“In addition, our employee-owned business offers great training and career opportunities for our employees locally and across the UK.”

The transition from Fusion to GLL will likely take place in late November and early December. Members and visitors to the leisure centres will in the meantime be able to use the facilities as usual.

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