Harborne pool operator confirmed

By on 29/11/2011 in News

Birmingham's first new public swimming pool for over 20 years will be operated and managed by DC Leisure Management Ltd.

And Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney, has hailed the groundbreaking deal to run the £12.2 million Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre as 'the future for public swimming pool provision in the city'.

Scheduled to open on January 3, Harborne will be the first municipal leisure centre in Birmingham to be managed an operated by an external contractor.

After winning a competitive tender process, DC Leisure has signed an initial 10-year deal to manage the state-of-the-art facility, with an option to extend for a further five years, subject to satisfactory performance.

Cllr Mullaney said: “We've replaced an ageing leisure centre with a new state-of-the-art facility to be proud of and this deal with DC Leisure means council tax payers in Birmingham will no longer pay for the running costs of the centre.

“This exciting project represents the future for public swimming pool provision in Birmingham.

“We're now going through a competitive tender process to build another new facility in Sparkhill - as part of a wider swimming pool strategy – underlining our ongoing commitment to community swimming across the city.”

Tim Hewett Business Development Director of DC Leisure Management added: “DC Leisure Management is extremely pleased to have been awarded this prestigious contract for the operation and maintenance of Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre. We look forward to working In Partnership with Birmingham City Council for the duration of the Contract.”

Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre consists of a 25-metre main pool alongside a smaller learner facility, a gym, interactive children's fitness suite, dance and aerobics studio and a community room.

The two-year project has come in £600,000 under budget - costing £12.2 million instead of the anticipated £12.8 million.

The Centre, which will remain the property of Birmingham City Council, is now scheduled to open its doors to the public on January 3.


  • Following a procurement process lead by Corporate Procurement Services and Strategic Sport with support from Edgbaston Constituency the award of the contract for the operation, management and maintenance of Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre has now been approved at Cabinet.  DC Leisure Management Ltd has been confirmed as the new operator of the first swimming pool built in Birmingham in over 20 years.
  • The management and operation of Harborne Pool by an external contractor is a first for Birmingham City Council’s Sport and Leisure Service.
  • The contract will be for an initial 10 years, commencing on 3rd January 2012, with the option to extend for a further period of 5 years subject to satisfactory performance.
  • Governance and local involvement is paramount to the success of this contract with a priority being the creation of a Partnership Board consisting of senior representatives from the Council including both officers and local members. 
  • The Partnership Board will have clear terms of reference concentrating on strategic issues, financial performance, capital investment and achieving mutual objectives. 
  • Coupled with the requirements of Best Value, this approach will lead to the contractor improving its understanding of the needs of the service, in addition to each partner's objectives.  This will allow for a true partnership relationship that will better serve the community.
  • The responsibility for the management of the contract will sit with Birmingham City Council's Strategic Sport Section.  A Contract Management Team will be established including local representation from Edgbaston Constituency.
  • Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre will remain the property of Birmingham City Council.  The operator will occupy the building under a full repairing lease with insurance obligations, and under the terms of this lease will be unable to structurally alter the asset in any way.  The building must be handed back in the same condition at the end of the contract term as was provided at contract commencement.  A cyclical maintenance reserve will be provided for the long term maintenance of major plant and future structural works.

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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