Kingsley External

New companies will take over the running of leisure services at Kingsley Sports Centre and Arrow Vale Sports Centre after Redditch Borough Council leaves them in October.

From October 2 the ‘dry side’ leisure facilities at Kingsley Sports Centre on the site of Tudor Grange Academy Redditch will be available to hire from School Lettings Solutions (SLS), the UK’s largest provider of dedicated community lettings service for schools.

And from the same date the facilities at Arrow Vale Sports Centre on the site of RSA Academy Arrow Vale will be available via local sports coaching company P&E Sports, who already work in Redditch and play a leading role in the provision of community-based sports coaching.

Both new operators are working in close partnerships with the respective academies, and are now working with existing users groups to maintain current sessions once the transfer takes place.

Meanwhile swimming pool users at Kingsley have been invited to relocate to the borough council’s other swimming pools at the Abbey Stadium one week earlier than the change, from September 25, when the pool will be closed for decommissioning in time for the change in management.

The changes were set out in a letter from Dave Wheeler, Redditch Borough Council‘s Sports Service Manager, to all the groups that currently book facilities at the centre.

He said: “We may be leaving the schools’ sites but supporting and facilitating participation in sports and physical activity is important to us. Our highest priority has been to ensure continuity for as many of our local community hirers as possible across the change, and so we’ve worked alongside both academies to make the change in management as smooth as we can. The new operators’ dedicated managers, on-site assistants, established booking processes and promotional support for hirers should allow for a clean transition.”

The borough council’s dual use agreements for the school sites expire on October 1 after the council surrendered those interests in order to invest in its own facilities in the borough, amidst continued reductions in public spending.

Cllr Pat Witherspoon, Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for leisure, said: “We’re pleased to see Tudor Grange and RSA continuing to make their leisure facilities available to the community in partnership with these new operators, and we wish them the very best. Many people have benefitted from the fruitful partnership we’ve had with the schools over the years, but the funding cuts we face are relentless and we’ve had to adapt to continue to provide our first class fitness and leisure facilities in the borough.”