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Southwark council announces plans to bring leisure services in-house

A council has announced plans to bring the management of its leisure centres in house when the current contract expires.

Southwark council’s eight leisure centres are currently run by leisure provider Everyone Active, but the contract will end in June 2023.

The plan, which is subject to Cabinet signoff on September 14 and a five working day call-in period, will make Southwark the first London borough to run leisure facilities themselves.

Cllr Alice Macdonald, Cabinet Member for Equalities, Neighbourhoods and Leisure, said: “We are excited by the opportunities that our new, in-house leisure service will provide. This decision will enable us to continue supporting many more people to live healthier lives.

 “We will put residents and staff front and centre of the decisions we take so that we provide the  high quality facilities and services needed to make a real difference to people’s lives. 

Southwark have said that the move is in line with Southwark’s preference for in-house services, which help the council to put residents at the heart of everything it does. 

The plan will also help the council to ensure that its leisure offer is focused on helping the council to reduce inequality and improve the health of residents.

Southwark provides free swim and gym and adult swimming lessons, to everyone who lives in the borough. 

The council also has plans to open a new athletics centre in Southwark Park by the end of the year, and a new leisure centre in Canada Water by 2025.

Cllr Macdonald added: “I’d like to thank Everyone Active’s Southwark staff for their hard work and commitment throughout the pandemic. We hope that in 2023 many will choose to stay on with us. 

“We are committed to investing in sport and leisure and have many exciting plans in the pipeline. We are working hard to expand our offer of accessible, high quality facilities, for people across the borough. We believe that nature, arts and sports can all help to break down barriers that prevent people from thriving.”

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