Belfast City Council appoint Leisure Experts via ESPO’s National Consultancy Services framework (664) to re-design their Leisure Management Operating Model

Published on 09/09/2015

The requirement

Following a competitive tendering process, V4 Services were appointed by Belfast City Council to support their Leisure Transformation Project. This involved the transfer of leisure services (14 leisure centres and a total of more than 250 full time staff) into a new delivery model.  

The objective was to secure long term financial savings, which would be used to part-finance the cost of borrowing for a £105m capital investment in the development of new leisure facilities.

V4 Services were asked to provide the Council with a full turnkey support package to ensure that the proposed arrangements, required savings and service improvement would be delivered.

The solution

The new model involved an innovative arrangement featuring the deployment of a locally established charitable trust ‘Active Belfast’, contracted by the Council to deliver a range of outcomes, with a secondary agreement whereby Active Belfast contracted Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) as its strategic operating partner.

V4 Services produced the initial proposal and provided advice and support to develop all the elements of the various agreements between the three parties. This included commercial advice on:

  • Funding and management agreements between the Council and Active Belfast and the tripartite services agreement (contract) between all parties.
  • The service specification with a range of health, wellbeing, social value and good relations outcomes.
  • Lease agreements and property maintenance.
  • Development of a five year business plan for Active Belfast.

The results

  • An agreement whereby all leisure centres (10 + 4) operated as part of a NPDO under a 15 year contract with GLL.
  • Flexibility for changes to the facility range during contract term.
  • £2m (25%) net annual reduction secured from annual revenue subsidy.
  • Gain-share arrangement ensuring all parties benefit proportionately from future surpluses.
  • Contractually assured savings used to secure and part-finance prudential borrowing to deliver a £105m capital investment programme.
  • Service improvements secured from the services specification and performance management frameworks.

“V4 Services had extensive knowledge of the wide range of issues we needed to address to achieve our ambitious transformation plan. They engaged with all stakeholders; provided clear advice and support and maintained complete integrity throughout the complex negotiations.”

Andrew Hassard, Director of Parks and Leisure, Belfast City Council

To view the Consultancy Services framework (664) please click here

For further information, please contact: 

Professional Services Team 
0116 294 4072

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Youth Sport Trust
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ERA 2018