Vale Council appoints private sector partner to run its
leisure centres - what will this mean for me?
The Vale of Glamorgan's leisure centres are now being run in
partnership by the council and Parkwood Community Leisure. Although
the leisure centres remain the responsibility of the council,
Parkwood will operate the centres for a minimum of ten years with a
possible extension for a further five years.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the new
partnership arrangement. If you have any queries please call 01446
Has the council sold the leisure centres?
No. The leisure facilities are leased to Parkwood Community
Leisure for the period of the contract.
How were Parkwood Community Leisure appointed?
Parkwood Community Leisure were appointed to manage the leisure
centres following a competitive tendering process that was
conducted in 2011/12.
What role does the Vale Council now play in the operation of
the leisure centres?
The council plays no part in the day to day operation of the
leisure centres. However, it works closely with Parkwood Community
Leisure to monitor its performance, maintain the buildings and
develop the services offered to customers.
Will all leisure centres remain open under the new
Yes, all of the Vale of Glamorgan’s leisure centres will remain
Will increased investment be made into the centres and what
sort of changes am I likely to see?
The council has allocated £3m worth of investment into the
leisure centres over the next 12 months. £2m is being spent on
general upgrading work while an additional £1m has
already been invested in a new fitness suite and dance studio
in Penarth Leisure Centre, as well as a revamped fitness
suite at Barry Leisure Centre. A new cafe is also now open in the
reception area at Penarth Leisure Centre, with one planned for
Barry Leisure Centre in Spring 2013. The fitness suite at
Llantwit Major is also being expanded, with work due to be
completed in the next couple of months.
Is the FreeStyle membership scheme continuing?
The FreeStyle scheme is being discontinued, but existing cards
will be honoured until they expire.
What is happening with my LifeStyle membership?
The LifeStyle membership scheme is being replaced by a new
Expressions Fitness membership scheme, and Parkwood Community
Leisure will be contacting all members to inform
them about future developments.
Will the new membership let me move between the leisure
centres to train across all sites as I currently do?
Yes. Parkwood Community Leisure also currently operates Cardiff
International Pool and discussions are being had about cross
promotions that would benefit Vale members at this venue too.
Are swimming lessons continuing?
Swimming lessons are continuing and are operated under
the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) national guidelines, through
Parkwood Leisure’s Aquazone Programme. Please contact your local
centre on 01446 403000 if you have any specific queries about
Is the free swimming initiative continuing?
Free swimming is included as part of the contract
and Parkwood Community Leisure will be expected to
deliver the free swimming initiative as long as the Vale
Council continues to receive a grant for this from the Welsh
Government. If the grant ceases then, in all likelihood, free
swimming would also cease.
Is the Exercise Referral Scheme continuing?
The Exercise Referral Scheme is continuing with all of the
existing staff remaining in their current positions. The Vale of
Glamorgan Council will continue to run this aspect of the service
with the full co-operation of the new partner organisation.
Have any changes been made to the fitness class programme?
The up to date fitness class programmes can be found at www.leisurecentre.com. A
significant aspect of the tender submission received from Parkwood
Community Leisure is the creation of more dance studios in the
current facilities and, given this emphasis on creating new
dance studios at various sites, it can reasonably be expected that
the current fitness class programmes will be expanded further.
Are Zumba classes continuing?
Yes. Zumba classes have proven to be extremely popular in the
Vale and are also run as part of Parkwood Community Leisure’s
dance programme, Sway Dance.
Is there a possibility that the car park at Barry Leisure
Centre might be improved?
Unfortunately the car park at Barry Leisure Centre is outside of
the scope of the leisure centre partnership project. However, the
Vale of Glamorgan Council is aware of customer frustrations with
parking arrangements and will be looking to address these
What has happened to the staff at the leisure
All staff who wished to do so have transferred to the
partner organisation on their existing terms and conditions. This
process, known as TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of
Employment regulations) is part of European law and is designed to
protect the existing workforce.
Which other leisure centres are Parkwood involved in
Parkwood Community Leisure manages 82 leisure centres around the
UK on behalf of 25 clients, this includes Cardiff International
Pool. In February, Hengrove Leisure Centre was opened in Bristol, a
£35m project. Additional facilities managed by Parkwood Leisure
include two theatres, Tourist Information and two conference
centres. Further details can be found at the Parkwood Leisure
Who do I contact to make a complaint about the leisure
In the first instance you should contact the manager at the
facility concerned by calling 01446 403000. However, if you are not
satisfied with the response you receive then please contact the
Vale of Glamorgan Council's Operational Manager for leisure and
Tourism Dave Knevett by calling 01446 704817 or
If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not
hesitate to speak to a member of staff at the leisure centres,
or contact the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Operational Manager
for leisure and Tourism Dave Knevett by calling 01446 704817
or email email@example.com.