New partnership heralds a better future for Portsmouth

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February marks the start of a new partnership between Portsmouth City Council and BH Live to manage Mountbatten Leisure Centre, Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre, Portsmouth Tennis Centre, Eastney Swimming Pool, Wimbledon Park Sports Centre and Charter Community Sports Centre in addition to the Pyramids Centre which has been operated by BH Live since 2013.

The enhanced partnership, however, goes beyond the management of Portsmouth’s flagship facilities and includes further ambition to positively impact on the social, health and cultural agenda across the region too.

“Portsmouth already has some of the best sporting and public leisure facilities in the UK. To encourage more people to enjoy the benefits, we will take a citywide partnership approach” explains Peter Gunn, BH Live’s Chief Executive.

Together, with our partners, we will create activities across the city that everyone can enjoy and provide affordable access to encourage participation in physical activity. We will look at how we can contribute to, and co-promote, city events to bring people together and also improve employment prospects through training opportunities and people development – all crucial to our social mission.”

Partnership is fundamental to BH Live’s approach. Peter Gunn continues, "We are extending our networks and developing relationships with businesses and groups across the region to boost participation further. We are inviting key stakeholders, most recently at the Shaping Portsmouth Conference, to explore how we can work together to create new and exciting opportunities to improve people’s lives across Portsmouth.

Cllr Linda Symes, Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Sport, said: "Today marks the start of a fantastic new partnership that will be of real benefit to the city and save the council money at the same time. I am delighted that BH Live is approaching its new role, not just as operators of the leisure centres, but they are taking a wider view of the impact that they can have across the city. Their work will encourage people to exercise and, as well as the individual benefits that has, having a more active population can in turn help to reduce pressures on health and community services while activities such as cycling can reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Another benefit is that BH Live will now be running the interaction service that provides valuable support and activities to people with mental health problems securing its future for those that rely on it."

BH Live has opened up low-cost access to gyms, classes, swimming and sporting activities from just £24 a month providing access to all seven centres. Concessions, for people on low incomes, and family memberships will also be available.

A £3.4 million citywide investment programme has also been announced beginning with major improvements to enhance the foyer, event spaces, café and children’s activities at Mountbatten Leisure Centre.

BH Live and Portsmouth City Council celebrate their citywide partnership; Cllr Linda Symes (Portsmouth City Council), and Peter Gunn (BH Live) pictured centre with stakeholders at the 2017 Shaping Portsmouth conference.

From left to right: Tony Sammut (Emirates Spinnaker Tower), Leslie Greenhalgh (Origin Sports Group), Mike Lyons (BH Live), Steve Frampton MBE (Portsmouth College), David Smith (University of Portsmouth), Tomas Lloyd (Portsmouth College), Cllr Linda Symes (Portsmouth City Council), Clare Martin (Pompey in the Community), Peter Gunn (BH Live), Terri Stannard and James Ralls (Victorious Festival), Stef Nientowski (Shaping Portsmouth) and representatives from UTC Portsmouth.

More information about all of the centres is available at bhliveactive.org.uk.

About BH Live

BH Live is the south coast's leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

With more than three million visits a year and over £36.5 million turnover, the organisation is changing lives – placing it at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy.

In 2015/16 BH Live hosted more than 500 events and sold over half a million cultural, sporting and entertainment tickets. 2.6 million visits were recorded for its leisure centres and 118,000 delegates attended conferences, exhibitions and hospitality events. An estimated £66.3 million was generated for the local economy from business and cultural tourism. For more visit bhlive.org.uk

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