Leisure services - frequently asked questions
Why has the council decided to partner with an external operator?
The council needs to save £25m by 2020 as part of an overall transformation programme, so in January 2017 we asked the public for their opinion on outsourcing our leisure services.
Following a comprehensive review, entering into a partnership with an external operator was considered to be the best option in order to make savings whilst continuing to provide a quality leisure offer to our residents.
Who is the external operator that will be running the leisure facilities?
Everyone Active. They are part of Sports & Leisure Management Ltd and are a nationally recognised leisure management company which will take over the day to day running of Bracknell Leisure Centre, Coral Reef Waterworld and Downshire Golf Complex.
Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, Everyone Active is the longest-established leisure provider in the UK and currently operates more than 150 facilities across the country.
The partnership with Everyone Active will begin on 1 March 2018.
Will the council be selling the leisure sites?
No. Bracknell Forest Council will not be selling the sites. We will be entering into a partnership with Everyone Active which will take over the day to day running of the 3 leisure sites.
Bracknell Forest Council will still own all 3 sites and the centres will no longer run at a loss.
Why has the council decided to outsource the leisure services after spending money on refurbishing Coral Reef Waterworld?
The reason behind the Coral Reef project, which was first considered in 2013, was the essential replacement of the roof; without this work, the site would have been forced to close. The council decided to expand this work to a much greater refurbishment project to improve the overall facility. The council will continue to benefit from the investment in Coral Reef Waterworld through the annual management fee from Everyone Active.
How can a private operator run the leisure services at a profit but the council can’t?
Everyone Active operates over 150 Leisure sites, which means it benefits from much larger economies of scale as a significant leisure operator in the UK.
It is likely that if the 3 leisure sites had continued to be run by the council, funding cuts would have been made causing reductions in the services available. Everyone Active also has certain tax advantages which the council cannot access.
The partnership will allow us to continue to provide a quality leisure offer to our residents, as well as enhancements to the facilities.
What will happen to ticket and membership prices?
Bracknell Forest Council will retain an overview of all core pricing structures across the 3 leisure sites. Any request to change pricing must be made via a formal proposal for the council to review. No core pricing changes above inflation can be implemented before 1 April 2019.
What will happen to the leisure services staff?
On 1 March 2018, staff will simply transfer to Everyone Active under their existing terms and conditions. Being part of a much larger organisation will provide increased opportunities for staff to grow and progress.
What happens to existing memberships and bookings?
Bookings that have already been made beyond March 2018 will be honoured and all 3 sites are continuing to take bookings as usual. Memberships will continue as long as they are valid.
What can we expect from Everyone Active from 1 March?
It will be business as usual on 1 March when the partnership begins.
There will be no big changes in the services provided and the intention is for customers to receive the same level of access and quality of service they receive now, or better. It is anticipated that Everyone Active will look to enhance the facilities that customers enjoy, which the council cannot afford to do alone; it’s only option is to partner with an external leisure operator to upgrade the facilities. The biggest change on day one will be new staff uniforms.
Will the council still be held accountable for the 3 leisure sites?
Bracknell Forest Council will remain fully accountable for the services provided and is responsible for making sure the quality standards outlined in the contract are adhered to by Everyone Active. The council is confident that Everyone Active will make improvements to service standards given its reputable position in the industry.
What will happen to clubs and businesses based at the leisure sites?
Clubs will continue to use the centres for activities with an aim to increase participation and healthy lifestyles for our residents. The services provided by lease holders will also continue.
Will the classes remain the same?
At the moment there are no planned changes to classes.
Will I still be able to use my E+ card?
Yes. Users can continue to use their E+ card across all 3 sites.
Will recycling rewards still be valid?
Yes. Visit our recycling incentive scheme pages for more details. Any changes to the scheme will be published on these pages.
What happens to my personal information?
If you are a member of one of the leisure centres or are on our mailing list for leisure, your data will transfer to Everyone Active. It is necessary to do this in order to ensure the centres continue to run smoothly and all current memberships continue.
We have recently contacted everybody whose data will be transferred to advise of this and to give the opportunity to opt out of the data transfer. If you are affected and do not wish for your data to be transferred, please visit our transfer page and complete the form by 7 February 2018.