Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy consultation



The council owns nine leisure centres and swimming pools located across Bristol.  These are shown on the map below and are described on the next page. Also shown are the City of Bristol Gymnastics Centre, the Bristol Brunel Academy Fitness Suite and eight school leisure facilities that the council helps to fund and the public can use.  There are also many other leisure facilities run by schools, the voluntary sector and commercial providers in the city, and there are public leisure facilities in neighbouring local authority areas.

The nine council-owned leisure facilities are currently operated and managed by two leisure contractors.  The leisure facilities are a broad mix of good quality provision alongside some tired and ageing facilities that have increasing maintenance costs and do not meet the full expectations and needs of Bristol’s residents.

Map of council-owned and other council-supported leisure facilities in Bristol

Bristol City Council has prepared a draft Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy, that sets out options for how we propose to invest in the city’s leisure facilities. Our proposed approach is to make improvements across the sites which serve the highest number of users and the areas of greatest deprivation. This will help us to meet our objectives for sport and physical activity.

The council’s preferred option is to retain seven of the nine sites it owns, make improvements at up to three of these sites, and to stop operating two of its other facilities. The details are described on the following pages.

For those facilities which we propose to stop operating, the council is open to considering the transfer of one or both facilities to another commercial operator or for them to be run by the community (known as Community Asset Transfer, CAT), but if this does not happen, we propose these facilities will close.

The council’s proposed Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy will help to inform the procurement process for a leisure centre operator when the current contract expires. The current leisure contract to operate Bristol South Swimming Pool, Easton Leisure Centre, Henbury Leisure Centre, Horfield Leisure Centre, St Paul’s Community Sports Academy, and Kingsdown Sports Centre expires on 31 March 2022. Due to the impact of COVID-19, retendering has been delayed and arrangements for a contract extension to allow time to run a procurement exercise are being discussed. The Jubilee Pool contract also expires on 31 March 2022.
Why we are consulting

We are consulting to obtain your views on the draft Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy.

In this survey we describe why we are proposing investment at some facilities and why we propose to stop operating two other facilities. We ask for your views on this proposed approach. We also describe the potential investments we could make at up to three facilities and we ask whether you think each of these is important or not.

We also ask you about which leisure facilities you currently use and what things you value most in a leisure facility. This information will help to shape our procurement for a leisure centre operator and define the types of services we might specify during the procurement process.
What happens next?

This consultation closes on Sunday 7 November 2021.

After this we will consider every response, along with the results of an Equalities Impact Assessment, and we will consider making changes to the draft Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy based on the feedback. A report will then be prepared including the responses to the consultation and the draft strategy, which will be presented to the Mayor and Cabinet in early 2022. The Mayor and Cabinet will decide whether to approve the Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy as per the draft, or amend it, or take a different approach, and will take into consideration the report on consultation feedback in making their decision.

The Leisure Facilities Investment Strategy will help inform the procurement framework for a leisure centre operator when the current contract expires.