New Harborne swimming pool is a splash hit

By on 26/01/2012 in News
  • WHAT: Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Mike Whitby and Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney, will formally open the new Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre.
  • WHERE: Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre, Lordswood Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9QS
  • WHEN: Saturday 28 January 2012
  • TIME: 09:30am (speeches at 10am)

Birmingham's first new public swimming pool for over 20 years is proving to be a smash hit, breaking records for visitor numbers since opening earlier this month.

Over 10,500 customers have used the state-of-the-art new facilities since Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre opened its doors to the public on January 3.

And Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Mike Whitby will formally open the £12.2 million centre on Saturday as the new facility stages a day of community swimming events.

Cllr Whitby said: “We have a new centre to be proud of and, not surprisingly, the new facilities are proving to be extremely popular.

“This is Birmingham's first new public swimming pool for over 20 years and underlines our commitment to local facilities.

“Birmingham City Council is determined to increase sports participation across the city and the early visitor numbers show Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre will play a big part in our efforts.

“The centre has been incredibly busy in the first three weeks and I would urge anyone who hasn't yet visited to go along and make the most of the new facilities.”

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.

Last month, following a competitive tender process, DC Leisure signed an initial 10-year deal to manage the centre, with an option to extend for a further five years, subject to satisfactory performance.

The Centre, which will remain the property of Birmingham City Council, came in £600,000 under budget - costing £12.2 million instead of the anticipated £12.8 million.

Since opening on January 3

  • Over 10,500 customers have used the facilities
  • Over 1,600 have signed-up for memberships
  • Over 500 tours of the facility have been conducted
  • 60 full and part time staff have been recruited from the local area, while 19 members of staff were transferred from Birmingham City Council to the new operators DC Leisure.

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • 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.

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