SponSored briefing ALLiAnCe LeiSUre
XHeight is an indoor climbing challenge made up of 18 exhilarating panels
The centre has been transformed from a shabby, uninviting and uninspiring facility to a vibrant community hub with a host of new attractions INCREASING ENGAGEMENT The centre has been transformed from a shabby, uninviting and uninspiring facility to a vibrant community hub with a host of new facilities and attractions designed to stimulate participation. These include the Les Mills immersive indoor cycling experience, THE TRIP™, Europe’s first outdoor Flight Tower, an 80-station gym, an adventure play area, an XHeight climbing wall, barista-style café and a spa. Following the completion of the first phase of the project in early 2017, Alliance Leisure and the council approached the ukactive Research Institute to evaluate the economic and social impact of the £5m investment. The findings exceeded all expectations. Since the redevelopment, visits to the Salt Ayre Leisure Centre have increased by 72 per cent, with the average number of monthly visits per person increasing from 4 to 10. Gym and fitness class attendance has risen by 83 per cent, with the Les 40
VISIT FREQUENCY ■ The average number of visits increased by 161% from 4.1 visits a month in Mar/Apr 2016 to 10.7 visits a month in Mar/Apr 2 2017 ■ 63% of members say they are visiting more often since the redevelopment ■ Average distance of members’ homes from Salt Ayre has increased by nearly a kilometre
Mill immersive experience attracting over 5,000 visits alone. Adventure facilities like XHeight and Flight Tower have generated over 10,000 visits. There has been a shift in user demographics. Female users have increased by 172 per cent, now representing 58 per cent of the
Read online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital
membership, and members’ average age has fallen from 43.7 to 37.9 years. The centre is also attracting visitors from further afield, with people travelling from almost a kilometre further away to use the new facilities. “Without doubt, the decision to invest in Salt Ayre is one of the most important decisions taken by the city council in recent years,” says Darren Clifford, cabinet member with responsibility for culture, leisure and tourism. “We’re now seeing the clear rewards of that investment and the achievement of our collective ambition of providing affordable leisure and fitness activities to people of all ages and abilities.” Based on current usage levels and revenue generation, the centre is projected to be in a revenue-neutral position in less than three years. Salt Ayre is a genuine success story and proves that by investing in the right facilities, local authorities can inspire whole communities to get active. ● © cybertrek 2018
Leisure Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global leisure industry.