Two major South Gloucestershire leisure centres are fit for the future

Delivering a top notch customer experience following multi-million-pound modernisation

  • Top-class leisure experiences put the centres on the map as ‘destination venues’
  • Visits spike, as broader range of activities attracts families and people of all ages


Active family fun at Bradley Stoke Lifestyle Centre

At Bradley Stoke Lifestyle Centre, a £3.6million redevelopment, funded by South Gloucestershire Council completed in January 2017, new additions included an extensive soft play zone and an adventure climbing experience. There was also a significant investment made in improvements to the gym, café and studios, making the centre a real destination venue for the local community and wider area.

The makeover’s primary goal was to enable the centre to meet the local demand for a top-class leisure experience. Broadening its offer with experiential activities, such as the soft play zone and adventure climbing wall, also enabled the centre to attract younger customers and families from the wider region to enjoy active pursuits together. In the first two months the adventure climbing wall was a big hit, clocking up over 4,000 visits.

Following the upgrade, the centre has thrived:

  • Membership growth: membership has increased by over 25% in three years. The centre forecasted that membership for the new Shapemaster toning suite would reach maturity in two to three In fact, it achieved 65% of its target within three months and smashed its two-year goal in just 12 months.
  • Attracting new segments of the market: The new toning suite complements the main fitness suite, with the two areas attracting different types of people.
  • Boosting loyalty: With great facilities and staff, and a sociable atmosphere, the centre has retained the vast majority of its members, with loss averaging at 2.4% (a drop of 0.88%). In real terms, this represents an annual saving of £150,000.
  • Appealing to families: The new soft play and climbing walls are attracting families and children’s parties. These areas alone bring over £300,000 per annum of additional income. They have increased customer dwell time, which has resulted in 40% more customers using the café, with revenue increasing by 30%.
  • Customer satisfaction: The centre’s Net Promoter Score has grown from 35 to 44, one of the highest within the Circadian Trust’s group of Active Lifestyle Centres. Customer feedback has been fantastic, with one anonymous customer surveyed saying: “Everything brilliant – classes, facilities, the gym, instructors, services.”
  • Return on investment: There has been a very positive net effect of strong membership growth, low attrition rates and new products and services attracting a wider audience. The refurbishment project carried out by Createability delivered a return on investment in just under a year.

Mark Crutchley, chief executive of Circadian Trust, which manages and operates the centre on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council said at the opening: “This major project took almost a year to complete. The results delivered by Alliance and Createability were definitely worth the time and investment, helping us to compete in the local market place, offering a greater variety of high quality services to the community.”

Councillor Heather Goddard, Chair of the South Gloucestershire Council Environment and Community Services Committee, said: “This exciting redevelopment secured Bradley Stoke Lifestyle Centre’s position as somewhere for the whole family to use. Our new facilities make exercise fun and enjoyable in a friendly and modern environment.”

Longwell Green Active Lifestyle Centre expands and improves

After the successful redevelopment of Bradley Stoke Active Lifestyle Centre, Createability undertook the £1.5million redevelopment of Longwell Green Active Lifestyle Centre. The revitalisation of the site was completed in January 2018, delivering dramatically improved facilities.

An extension, designed by Studio Four Architects, sympathetically enhanced the existing building, creating space for a new entrance, lobby area and corridors. The 282 sq m fitness suite centre was increased in size by 107 sq m, allowing for 25 extra stations and the installation of new pieces of Technogym equipment. A new 137 sq m fitness studio was created, so that more group fitness classes could be offered, including Les Mills Body Balance and BodyPump, as well as virtual classes. In addition, more poolside showers were installed.

The changing village serving the 25-metre and learner pools benefitted from a new poolside entrance, extra showers, new wet and dry changing rooms, and improved disabled toilets.

Following the upgrade, the centre has seen some amazing results:

  • Happy customers: Following positive customer feedback, the centre’s NPS score has risen from 13 to 41 since the new development.
  • More active members: Membership has increased from 2,703 to 3,315, a hike of 23%. Members are increasing their activity too, with 70,000 more member visits per annum, a 15% increase. Gym attendance has been high, increasing by 30%.
  • Attracting more swimmers: Improvements to the pool area and changing rooms have enhanced the swim school’s appeal, with a 15% increase in members.
  • Award winning: Longwell Green has received many prestigious awards since the development. It was one of four top-scoring facilities to receive an award in the Efficiency category at the NBS Awards in 2019.
  • Revenue generated: Overall, the income for the centre has increased by 12%, resulting in the highest operating profit since opening in 2007. Fitness income has grown significantly from £875,000 to £1,063,000 per annum.

Councillor Heather Goddard, Chair of South Gloucestershire Communities Committee, said: “In an effort to encourage more people to be active and fit, South Gloucestershire is committed to providing attractive, modern leisure facilities. Longwell Green is a popular site and we were very pleased to fund these improvements to benefit all its users.”

Mark Crutchley, Chief Executive of Circadian Trust, said: “We were excited to work with Alliance, Createability and our partners at South Gloucestershire Council on the expansion of Longwell Green Leisure Centre. Our customers responded well from day one, enjoying the wider range of physical activity and exercise options it has enabled the centre to provide.”