A HAILSHAM and Wealden success story is celebrating ten years at the helm of the district’s leisure centres. Staff at Hailsham Leisure Centre recently marked the tenth anniversary under the management of Freedom Leisure.
The not-for-profit trust was formed in April 2002 when it took over the operation of four leisure centres in the Wealden District - Hailsham, Uckfield, Crowborough and Heathfield. All four are in rude health and Freedom Leisure has grown steadily and now has 30 leisure centres across Sussex, Kent and Surrey.
Freedom Leisure has put its profits back into the Wealden facilities and has been praised by Wealden District Council for its efforts to offer reasonably priced health and leisure facilities to the community.
More than £1.5m has been reinvested in the Wealden venues including a £125K café, changing and health suite updates at Crowborough; a £250K café and changing improvements at Uckfield and a £1m bowling and soft play area at Hailsham.
Jeff Hart, managing director of Freedom Leisure said, “Over the last ten years we have helped people of all ages and abilities get into activity though a variety of schemes including sport specific programmes, Stroke and Cardiac Rehab, Pre and Post natal exercise, Junior Fitness and 50+ exercise.
“We also recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of our industry-leading GP referral scheme.
“Ten years is a fantastic achievement and we thank all our staff and customers for supporting us. I’m pleased to say we have many long-standing members and staff who have been with us since day one: that in itself is very gratifying.”
From its roots in Wealden the company has grown into one of the largest employers in Sussex has more than 2,500 employees,
Councillor Johanna Howell, from Wealden District Council, said, “We have been delighted with the contribution Freedom Leisure has made to our community. Working with the council, it has been able to provide facilities for people of all ages and fitness levels.
“We would like to be first to congratulate Freedom Leisure on its tenth anniversary and we are excited by the prospects for the next ten years.”