Hailsham: Leisure Centres’ multi-million pound boost

Stuart Smith, Lynsey Purdie, Natalie Hoadley and Matt Southen try new equipment at Freedom Leisure in Hailsham
Stuart Smith, Lynsey Purdie, Natalie Hoadley and Matt Southen try new equipment at Freedom Leisure in Hailsham

LEISURE centres across the district are set for millions of pounds of investment following a new agreement between Wealden District Council and the company which runs the centres.

Freedom Leisure, a not-for-profit leisure trust, has been given a further 10 to 15 years to manage the facilities in Hailsham, Crowborough, Uckfield and Heathfield.

The council has said the Freedom Leisure’s plans include major reinvestment in all of the District’s leisure centres.

Councillor Johanna Howell, cabinet member for community and voluntary sector at the district council, said, “After an extensive tendering process, we have secured a contract which will ensure improvements in the district’s four leisure centres and generate significant savings in the running costs.

“This should ensure smooth continuation of an excellent service which has seen increases in the number of people enjoying our leisure centres to pursue a fit and healthy lifestyle.”

The company has also just hosted an open weekend at Freedom Leisure Hailsham on Saturday (January 14) and Sunday (January 15).

The gym at the leisure centre has been refurbished to the tune of £260K.

Cllr Howell said that Freedom Leisure wants a number of target groups including older people, children and young people and people with disabilities.

She said, “The new contract will see £7 million invested to provide refurbished gym areas, changing rooms, cafés and reception areas.

“At the same time, the amount of grant the council pays to support the running of Wealden’s leisure centres will gradually be reduced, securing savings of £6.4 million over the contract period.”

The new contract with Freedom Leisure for the Crowborough and Hailsham Leisure Centres will be for 15 years whilst the contact will last for 10 years at Uckfield and Heathfield, where the buildings are owned by East Sussex County Council.