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East Herts Council awards 15-year contract to run new Bishop's Stortford leisure centre

Grange Paddocks’ current operator has won a 15-year contract to run Bishop’s Stortford’s £22m new leisure centre.

The deal between East Herts Council and Everyone Active for all of the local authority’s gyms and pools is set to start on January 1, with the potential to extend it for five years.

Cllr Eric Buckmaster, EHC's executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “Our pools and gyms offer excellent facilities for everyone in East Herts and we are committed to seeing more people getting active to help improve their health and well-being.”

The new Grange Paddocks leisure centre (20558260)
The new Grange Paddocks leisure centre (20558260)

Duncan Jefford, regional director at Everyone Active, added: “The leisure centres are pivotal in providing a wide range of facilities to the community and engaging people from all backgrounds in exercise.”

An extended archaeological dig to explore Stortford’s Roman past is being carried out at Grange Paddocks in advance of construction of a concrete bowl beside the existing 1970s building which will be the base of the new centre.

Work is set to begin in February and be completed by August 2021. The existing centre will remain open until its replacement is finished.

Grange Paddocks Progress (20558272)
Grange Paddocks Progress (20558272)

The new centre will include a:

  • 25m eight-lane competition main pool
  • 20m teaching pool with moveable floor
  • confidence pool with interactive water play features
  • 'village' changing facilities for pool users with single-sex options
  • spectator seating for 200
  • self-contained football changing facilities
  • dry changing facilities
  • fitness suite with about 130 stations
  • two studios
  • multi-purpose room
  • servery, café and seating area

The new 15-year contract also includes management of Hartham Leisure Centre in Hertford and Ward Freman pool in Buntingford, as well as a five-year deal for Leventhorpe pool and gym in Sawbridgeworth and Fanshawe pool and gym in Ware.

East Herts Council is spending £33m on improving facilities at Grange Paddocks, Hartham and Ward Freman.

Everyone Active currently manages 193 facilities in partnership with 60 councils.

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