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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Take up of borough’s leisure services reaches record levels as investment helps to keep residents active


The take up of leisure services offered by Cheshire East’s charitable trust Everybody Sport and Recreation has reached an all-time high – as more and more residents follow a fit and healthy lifestyle.

The borough’s 13 leisure facilities saw an annual attendance figure of 3.10 million in 2016, beating the previous year’s figure of 2.8 million, while membership of Everybody Sport and Recreation saw a 36 per cent leap in membership to more than 14,800.

There have been more than one million attendances by children under 16.

A report to Cheshire East Council’s cabinet says the trust is key to the delivery of a range of services and ‘outcomes’ for local residents, in particular the outcome that ‘people live well and for longer’.

The trust – which was set up by Cheshire East Council to manage its sports and leisure service. It employs more than 750 staff, who deliver not only leisure and sports development but who also perform the management of the borough’s many facilities.

They also help young people to stay safe on our roads through the ‘Bikeability’ scheme, funded by the Department for Transport, who awarded the trust additional funding of £590,000 to continue the safe-cycling training scheme through to 2020. Staff trained some 5,600 young people in cycling skills in 2016, a substantial proportion receiving training through school visits. 

The trust was established in 2014, with a board of 11 people, including two Cheshire East councillors and a chief executive. In April 2016 it took over the management of the £16m award-winning Crewe Lifestyle Centre, the borough’s first multi-purpose leisure and mainstream services building housing a public library, family and day-care centre.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “Everybody Sport and Recreation are to be congratulated on their achievements since taking over responsibility for the borough’s leisure and sports offer in 2014.

“But there is far more to the trust’s success.  Securing the new ‘One You’ Cheshire public health contract, which is valued at £2.5m over five years, reinforces the message that the council – and the trust – wish to see our residents enjoying long and healthy lives with access to quality sports and leisure amenities.

“The high number of children accessing our facilities is very pleasing to see.”

Councillor Andrew Kolker, chairman of Everybody Sport and Recreation, said: “In addition, we have also developed a new leisure and recreation hub at Holmes Chapel Community Centre, we have a new catering arm ‘Taste for Life’ at Wilmslow Leisure Centre and Crewe Lifestyle Centre, plus motivational awards, training and apprenticeship schemes for staff.

“We also look forward to the completion of the £8.8m investment in upgrading the Congleton Leisure Centre, a project due to be completed in 2019 and following on the heels of new gym facilities at Sandbach Leisure Centre, which is due to open this month.

The trust has recorded more than one million visits by children under 16 with 7,000 young people taking part in the ‘learn to swim’ scheme. The trust also helped to deliver carers and family holiday activity programmes and 446 cared-for children took part in swimming, gym and class activities.

To find out more about Cheshire East Council’s sports and leisure offer through Everybody Sport and Recreation go to: http://everybody.org.uk/

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