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Huge change at K2 as new management wins contract

The centre will be under new management from November this year.

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K2 Crawley will see a huge change later this year as a new management company is set to take over from freedom leisure.

The leisure centre will be under new management from November and is saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.

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Following a competitive procurement process, Crawley Borough Council’s (CBC) Cabinet has agreed to award the contract for running K2 Crawley to Sport and Leisure Management (SLM) Ltd. The company trades as Everyone Active.

Crawley Borough Council say the new management arrangement will save local taxpayers every year. A press release from CBC says SLM will be ‘working in partnership with the council to proactively improve health and wellbeing of the whole community through increased opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity.’

The contract also includes the management and operation of the gym, sports hall and café in the Bewbush Centre and the 3G pitch and pavilion in Broadfield.

In addition to the financial benefits, the Everyone Active proposal is committed to further develop each of the sites through investment and providing high quality services that meet and exceed customer expectations. The company will target 90 per cent customer satisfaction and introduce a quality management system to achieve an excellent rating in year two of the contract and outstanding by year four.

Everyone Active will work in partnership with Crawley Borough Council, sports clubs, stakeholders and partners to deliver innovative programmes that will contribute towards increased participation, providing opportunities from beginner to elite level.

The leisure contractor, who are the longest-established in the UK having been founded in 1987, manage 168 leisure and cultural centres across the UK and are already in partnership with over 58 different local authorities.

Investment to further enhance the facilities has been identified by Everyone Active, which includes improvements to the café facilities, energy efficiency schemes such as an LED replacement lighting scheme, and health and fitness equipment replacement programmes to enhance the customer experience. Staff will also benefit with the introduction of the Living Wage Foundation pay rates in accordance with the council’s commitment as a Living Wage employer.

In preparation for the new contract Crawley Borough Council has invested more than £1m into K2 Crawley. This has included the health and fitness extension, climbing wall improvements making it Olympic ready, additional car parking spaces, a brand new 3G playing surface and a combined heat and power unit which will contribute significantly to reducing the carbon footprint of the building.

More than 1.3 million people use K2 Crawley every year, making it one of the most popular leisure centres in the south east. As well as providing a huge range of sport and fitness activities, K2 Crawley also hosts national and international tournaments.

Everyone Active operates 168 leisure centres on behalf of 58 local authorities across the country and has an excellent record of delivering high quality services having achieved Swim England’s Swimming Operator of the Year and UK Active Fitness Operator of the Year on multiple occasions.

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, said:

“This is a fantastic deal for both taxpayers and the thousands of people who use K2 Crawley every day, from local residents to top athletes.

“We’ve chosen Everyone Active to manage K2 Crawley on our behalf following a very competitive tender process. Everyone Active demonstrated that they could provide high quality services as well as deliver a financial benefit to the council.”

Everyone Active’s Regional Contract Manager, Ian Cook said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen to work with Crawley Borough Council to manage the three leisure facilities including the prestigious K2 Crawley Leisure Centre.

“Everyone Active has extensive experience of engaging people in physical activity and reducing levels of inactivity. We look forward to working collaboratively with Crawley Borough Council and its wellbeing provision to provide a high-quality service and offer more opportunities for people to get active, both in the centres and in the community.”

The current leisure management contract for K2 Crawley with Freedom Leisure ends on 13 November 2018. The new contract will begin on 14 November.

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Ronnie O’Sullivan critical ‘again’ of K2 Crawley

Last year he described it as a ‘hellhole’ and this year he is still not impressed.

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Speaking to reporters the snooker player who only just managed to get through the first round was highly critical of the towns sports venue.

O’Sullivan reportedly said:

“It hasn’t changed as far as I’m concerned.’

‘You’d have to do a lot to change this place, wouldn’t you? You’d have to do an overall refurb on this place, but I’m not surprised, it is what I expected it to be.

I’ve just gone from the match table to a squash court to a toilet, where the player’s office is, to outside the building, in the rain, to get round here to do interviews, so I’ll probably end up with a bit of pneumonia on top of the cold which I’ve already got.”

He even joked that:

“Every day in Crawley is a day lost in my life.”

But the player has received backlash from the towns leaders and residents with Crawley MP Henry Smith saying:

“I believe it is the second year he has done this, he would be better concentrating on his snooker than mouthing off cheap lines.”

One local resident from Tilgate summed up their feelings of the snooker player saying:

“Who is he?”

A spokesperson from the English Open said:

“After last year’s English Open in Crawley we gathered feedback from the players, fans and officials and the overall feedback was that it is an excellent venue.

Based on this feedback we have made some changes to the layout this time in order to improve the experience for the players, including a new quiet lounge for the players and an improved practice facility. We are happy to be working with the K2 venue building the English Open into a great event.

The atmosphere in the arena on the opening day on Monday was excellent and we look forward to more support from the people of Crawley throughout the week.”

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