The partnership was developed in order to protect the services for years to come and to build on the excellent work that had already been achieved. Since then, the centres have gone from strength to strength. All three centres have increased their visitor numbers and members. In addition, two of the three centres have already achieved 'excellent' status by Quest, with Bourne looking likely to gain this status very soon. This is a quality accreditation scheme created by Sport England for sports and leisure facilities.

As part of the partnership, £1.5 million was invested in refurbishing Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester. This included: doubling the size of the gym; creating a new studio for group exercising; introducing a hot yoga studio; and, creating a new indoor cycling studio. The entrance and café area were also refurbished.

The centres have also attracted record numbers to the Triathlon and Half Marathon events, as well continuing to have a very positive impact through their community schemes. This includes a significant increase in those completing the GP referral scheme, which helps people to get back on their feet more quickly following a health problem.

Staff at the centre have also raised £5,000 for charity through a range of activities and events, including a sponsored bike ride, a badminton tournament and various gym challenges. The team is also busy organising the popular Get Active Festival, which will take place on Sunday 10 September between 12 noon and 4pm. This year, it will take place at Westgate Leisure Centre and the Chichester College, and will continue to offer a fun day of free activities.

It is great to see how hard the centres have worked and the improvements that have been made. The fact that the centres have been recognised as 'excellent' by Sport England speaks for itself and to see visitor numbers rise is great news. In the current economic climate, we have to look at new ways of doing things in order to maintain and protect council services. As well as continuing to deliver excellent services, the partnership has resulted in significant savings. It means that our leisure services have been protected, there has been significant investment in new facilities and it has allowed us to protect other council services.

If you haven't visited for a while, it is definitely worth popping into your local centre to see what Everyone Active  is offering.

Personally, I am very impressed with what has been achieved and look forward to continuing to work closely with Everyone Active as the partnership moves forward.

Councillor Tony Dignum

May 2017