Posts Tagged ‘gym’

Lewisham Leisure mega-contract needs fresh re-thinking

May 5, 2010

Two contracts with leisure operators to run almost all the leisure centres of the borough are to expire soon and Lewisham Council is now advertising a major long term contract to run them all on a long term basis.

The London Borough of Lewisham is seeking a partner to enter into a contract to manage, operate and maintain a number of existing leisure facilities (“the existing facilities”) together with 2 possible new facilities (“the proposed facilities”). The existing facilities comprise of the following leisure facilities : The BridgeLeisure Centre and Indoor Bowls Hall (Kangley Bridge Road, Lower Sydenham, London SE26 5AQ, UNITED KINGDOM); Ladywell Leisure Centre (261 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6NJ, UNITED KINGDOM); Wavelengths Leisure Centre (Giffin Street, Deptford, London SE8 4RJ, UNITED KINGDOM). The proposed facilities are Forest Hill Pools (Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3HZ, UNITED KINGDOM) designed to replace the formerForest Hill Pools on the same site, and a new leisure facility development at Loampit Vale designed to replace the existing Ladywell Leisure Centre.

The Council proposes to award a 10-15 year contract in relation to managing, operating and maintaining the Existing Facilities with options (exercisable by the Council during this term) to require the partner to manage, operate and maintain the Proposed Facilities (such additional requirements to be performed within the 10-15 year term). It is estimated that the services in respect of the Proposed Facilities (if the option is exercised) will commence in the second year of the 10-15 year term.

Having watched closely how the leisure centres work in Lewisham I can surely say that there is a need of a serious re-thinking before committing to something like this.

The way this works now is a complete muddle, with results like the legionella bacteria crisis, when following discovery of the bacteria in the showers at Ladywell these were shut down by the contractor following an order from the Council (but allegedly without the knowledge of the Cabinet Member for Community). The result of this decision was that people couldn’t shower before swimming and therefore the water of the pool was becoming infested with other equally harmful bacteria.

The root cause was of course neglect, and at the root of that lack of funding for repair and maintenance.

This is a unique opportunity to re-organize these services so that they are maintained to the level they should be. It is also an opportunity to involve the local sport talents and clubs and develop a long term plan of sport development for the borough to make use the current local infrastructure to its full potential.

The first question to ask ourselves is how can we use these facilities at their best, and then look for the best way to run the centres to serve that plan.

Maybe Lewisham can set up its own social enterprise, 4 centres are already an economy of scale, that’s how Greenich Leisure started, they now run 70 leisure centres. Why provide profits for shareholders when we could be reinvesting in our community assets?

Because as the tender tells us there are money to reinvest, almost £2m per year:

Historic third party income levels in operating the existing facilities has been in the region of 1 940 000 GBP per annum (excluding VAT and the Council’s management fee). It is projected that income may not meet expenditure to manage, operate and maintain the facilities, thus, the contract awarded may involve a level of management fee payable by the Council. Further financial details will be provided in the tender pack and other procurement documents.

It can also be the way to keep services going and dodge those cuts that no doubt will soon hit our budgets.

Gym opens in Hither Green

March 16, 2010

Looks like my hopes for the OLF Training Centre have realized:

What is the OLF Training Centre?
The centre was orignally set up for our exisiting business of education for th fitness professional. However, when we moved to Hither Green we soon realised that the area was in need of a gym! So we put our heads together and cmae up with the following…..

Hurrah! Read more here.

Gym update

January 20, 2010

I received a reply to my enquiry about the operation of the gym that’s opening at the Firemaster building and here’s what it says:

Hi Max,

Thank you for your interest in our facility.
We are only in the early stages of developing it.
It will primarily be a facility for our private courses and classes. These classes will be open for the public and will be specifically in Olympic Weight Lifting, Boxing, Kettlebells, Parkour and Strength and Conditioning.
I recommend you jump on our website and keep and sign up to our newsletter for constant updates and information regarding our venue and opportunities.

Kind Regards

So unfortunately at least for the moment it won’t operate as a general purpose gym, but the classes are open to everyone, so, should you decide that it’s time to toughen up here’s your chance, all info at
I think I’ll still stick to swimming.

Gym to open on Hither Green Lane

December 29, 2009

It’s official!

From the Optimal Life Fitness blog:

We’ve moved into 4000sqft of warehouse space in Hither Green, London, which is just 8minutes by train from London Bridge. This means: we have a new office- yes; we have warehouse space so we never run out of our stock of bells- yes; but more importantly we have a facility and space that we can host all of our educational courses out of.

That’s right starting with our EKI on the 30th and 31st of January next year all of our London courses will be run out of the OLF Training Centre. This includes our EKI and Advanced EKI courses, our Performance Boxing, Advanced Performance Boxing courses and Olympic Weightlifting for the Fitness Professional courses, plus we’ll be launching our Straps course early in 2010.

It’s at the Firemaster building, 174-176 Hither Green Lane, in the picture the entrance of Lanier Road.
It’s quite a thought that two months ago we held there our Cinema Day on the last day that space was available. On the Monday I went there to collect the chairs to deliver them back to St Dunstan College (a big thanks to them by the way) and waiting for the van I helped to unload the track of the timber that was used to partition the space for the gym.

It’s a very big space so one can reasonably hope that besides what this gym specializes in, which is boxing and weightlifting courses, there’ll also be regular machines for the keep-fit-enough type of person and that besides the courses they run they’ll open to the general public, I have emailed them about it and will post here when I get a reply. In any case it’s very positive news for Hither Green, we need more people around, more activity, and with that we’ll have more businesses opening and a more vital and safe environment.
By the way, recently Lewisham Council approached the owner to use the space as storage for their historic record that is currently held in another space in Deptford that they will soon have to vacate because of redevelopment. That would not have helped revitalize the area much.