A statement from GLL about the installation of an Extreme Trampoline Park at Link Centre
GLL, who operate under our ‘Better’ brand, took over long-term leases with Swindon Borough Council in November 2014. This arrangement was prompted by the Council’s need to make significant savings over the next three years and will result in a saving of approximately £1.4 million in the annual subsidies it currently provides.
Both Swindon Council and GLL share the same objectives to increase sports and leisure participation, reduce health inequalities and improve social inclusion. As the UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise and a not-for-profit organisation, any financial surplus made by GLL is reinvested back into our services.
GLL now offers a borough-wide leisure card scheme in Swindon and a concessionary pricing structure including discounts for students and disabled users. Talented athletes across Swindon are now able to access funding from the GLL Sport Foundation.
We do however need to be realistic about the costs and charges of each facility. Our choice has been that we need to refurbish and re-energise these facilities or they will close. Refurbishment works have already started at the Oasis Leisure Centre, which has seen new state-of-the-art gym equipment installed by GLL as well as improvements to the pool changing areas. To date we have committed an initial £3 million of investment of funds to enhance the leisure facilities and services across the borough.
The climbing wall (at Link Centre) currently receives low user levels with a financial loss being made by running it. In addition, a new dedicated climbing facility is due to be opened nearby in the town that we expect will lessen user figures even more.
As such, and following a period of internal consultation, the decision has been made to close the facility to make way for the trampoline park. However, all staff formerly working on the wall will have the opportunity to be redeployed to other positions with the Link Centre.
Our goal is to offer high quality, affordable facilities that are accessible to all in the community so that we can strive to get more people more active more often. The trampoline park will be one of the very first of its kind to launch in the UK. We will be using the latest technology and equipment to provide some really exciting opportunities for the people of Swindon.
The sport provides significant cardiovascular benefits and enhances skills such as agility and balance, and as a low-impact workout, also absorbs significant shock when exercising so is much easier on joints and well-suited for people recovering from injuries.
With an expected annual user uptake of over 65,000, well over the amount currently seen in the facilities it replaces, we are confident we can keep our services open and running for many years to come whilst continually improving access.
With regard to the loss of facilities as a result of the installation of the trampoline in the Link Centre’s sports hall, GLL added:
Over the next few weeks will be contacting hall users and sports clubs to establish their needs. This is so we can still provide the same standard of high quality amenities in the leisure facilities that we operate close by.
See earlier stories at Swindonlink.com
Photo below: Richard Wintle of Calyx