A new 15-year partnership has been agreed by Watford Borough Council to secure the future of first-class and affordable leisure facilities in the area.
Free swimming will be provided at Watford Central Leisure Centre between 2pm and 5pm on Sundays from June 2018. Free Gym Active sessions will be provided for 11 to 15-year-olds across a series of times and dates to promote an active lifestyle among young people in Watford.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Peter Taylor, whose portfolio includes the council’s leisure partnerships, said: “We’re really pleased with this excellent deal for Watford residents. Everyone Active is a fantastic partner, providing facilities that are as good as the private health clubs, but at an affordable price. We hope that the free swimming will encourage people in Watford to lead a more active lifestyle. This is an excellent deal for everyone who uses our leisure centres and for local council tax payers.”
The gym at Watford Woodside will be extended, its changing rooms refurbished and a new toning suite developed at the site. Watford Central will receive a new sauna and steam room, while both leisure centres will introduce a new virtual group cycling facility. This will allow customers to take part in this exercise class at any time that is convenient to them.
The partnership between the council and Everyone Active first began in 2008, and has now been renewed after a competitive tendering process. Everyone Active – which operates 158 leisure centres and employs 12,000 people nationwide – has agreed to introduce the National Living Wage for its 18- to 24-year-old staff in Watford. The leading leisure provider will also provide a minimum of two apprenticeships at any one time as part of the new 15-year contract with the council.
Both Watford Woodside and Watford Central Leisure Centre were recognised as Excellent following a tough assessment by Sport England’s leading national quality scheme Quest in 2017.
Karl Miles, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have extended our partnership with Watford Borough Council. Our goal is to get more people in the community active, and it is fantastic that we can continue working with the council to reach this.
“I’m very proud of what’s been achieved across the course of our contract. Both centres are shining examples of community activity hubs, and I am excited to see them progress and improve over the next 15 years.”