Job search
Job Search

New opening: Selby Summit – the future for publicly-owned leisure centres?

The opening of Selby Summit last month could spell a new era for publicly-owned leisure centres. Tom Walker investigates

by Tom Walker, Leisure Media | Published in Sports Management 13 Jun 2016 issue 122
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
The innovative design of the centre is a first for a publicly-owned leisure facility
The innovative design of the centre is a first for a publicly-owned leisure facility

“What makes the Selby project unique is that it’s the first public sector leisure facility which has no traditional sport within it,” says Sarah Watts, CEO of Alliance Leisure. “It’s what Sport England’s new strategy calls for – a focus on activities, rather than simply sport.”

Watts is describing the new £5.2m Selby Summit Indoor Adventure in North Yorkshire – a next generation leisure centre developed by Alliance Leisure. Launched on 28 May, the facility is owned by Selby District Council and operated by Wigan-based leisure trust Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (IHL).

The centre’s facilities are unusual for a public leisure centre: no swimming pools or sports courts, but instead a six-lane 10 pin bowling facility, 20 climbing walls designed for a wide range of abilities, aerial trekking ropes, an indoor skate and BMX park and an adventure play zone. There is also a Summit Ski centre – consisting of two indoor simulators, with their own mini slopes. An outdoor skate park, designed following consultation with local skate park users, will also be built on site with work due to start in July and be completed during the summer.

Future visions
The centre’s concept was borne out of the desire of Alliance Leisure – in partnership with the council – to approach leisure in a different way. The aim was to create a place which would complement traditional mainstream local authority leisure provision, but provide innovative, exciting activities which would attract new people to physical activity.

James Foley, Alliance Leisure’s development lead for the project says: “The vision was to create a concept that would redefine leisure provision in the public sector. We believe that we’ve shown that physical activity can be sustainable and challenge the norm.”

He adds that the use of innovative leisure products – and focusing on family activities – is at the very heart of the project, as the intention is to target families and young people, matching the growing trend to encourage participation by parents.

“It’s quite literally a box of tricks and a great example of what the future of public sector leisure could look like,” adds Watts. “It’s a great credit to Selby District Council (SDC) that they had the vision to make this a reality.”

For Mark Crane, leader of SDC, the centre is a statement of intent. “This isn’t just about the fantastic climbing walls, the great bowling facilities or the amazing ski simulator – the only one of this kind outside of London by the way,” he says.

“This is about putting Selby and the whole district firmly on the map. This is about giving our residents more opportunities to get involved in sport and leisure activities and making our area a great place to enjoy life. It’s these big ambitions that we’re supporting. And it’s these big ambitions on which we’re delivering.”

Future growth
As well as being a trailblazer for publicly owned leisure provision, Watts says the centre is a first for Alliance Leisure too. No small thing for a specialised development company which has delivered more than 100 leisure centre projects since its launch in 1999. “This is the first time we have been involved in building something from scratch,” she explains.

“So far, each of our 100+ developments have been refurbishments or extensions. This is the first we’ve built out of the ground, so it has been really exciting.”

According to Watts, Selby won’t be the last such project, either. “I see new build projects as a growth area for us, as a company. One of the aspects we’re excited about Selby is that it has roll-out capability. You could take it and locate it anywhere in the UK.”

Selby Summit

Location: Selby, North Yorkshire

Total cost: £5.2m

Build cost: £4.3m

Fitting out of facilities: £900,000

Principal contractor: ISG

Operator: Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles

Owner: Selby District Council

Developer: Alliance Leisure

Facilities:
• Six-lane 10 pin bowling
• 20 climbing walls
• Aerial trekking ropes
• Adventure play zone
• Indoor skate and BMX park
• Outdoor skate park
• Café and restaurant

Sarah Watts on:

Sarah Watts
Sarah Watts
Sarah Watts,

Alliance Leisure


Facilities mix: “The face of leisure is changing as local councils look for more sustainable facilities.

“A typical four-court sports hall will generate around £70,000 a year. We recently completed a project in Inverclyde, Scotland where we took one such space and installed a mezzanine level, created an adventure climbing and play zone on the ground floor and a budget fitness offer on the 1st floor. That same space generated £70k in its first six weeks after opening.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide

Membership Advisor Apprenticeship

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Petersfield, UK

Activity Leader Apprenticeship

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Slough, UK

Activity Leader Apprenticeship

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK

Membership Advisor Apprenticeship

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Carshalton, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.55 per hour
Location: Ruislip, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.55 per hour
Location: Shadwell, London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 pa
Location: Shoreditch, London, UK

Activity Leader Apprenticeship

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Rickmansworth, UK

Activity Leader Apprenticeship

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Elephant and Castle, London, UK
recruiting with sports management

Activity Leader Apprenticeship

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Dulwich, London, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £19,775 per annum (39 hours a week pro rata)
Location: Hatfield, Hetfordshire

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.21 per hour
Location: Keswick, Cumbria

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard) Fixed Term

GLL
Salary: Up to £23,894 per annum (40 hours a week pro rata)
Location: Waddon, South London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.21 per hour
Location: Wellington, Somerset

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Greenwich, London, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £23,894 per annum (40 hours a week pro rata)
Location: Kentish Town, North West London
recruiting with sports management

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.21 per hour
Location: Ulverston, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £23,894 per annum
Location: Wimbledon, London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Hayes, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 an hour
Location: Cambridge, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Horley, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,696 pa
Location: Swindon, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.55 per hour
Location: Hayes, UK
training with sports management

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £23,894 pa
Location: Hayes, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.55 per hour
Location: Epsom, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.21 per hour
Location: Swindon, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK

Duty Manager

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,930 PA
Location: Didcot, UK

Duty Manager

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,930 PA
Location: Manchester, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum
Location: Didcot, UK
lifeguard jobs  personal trainer jobs  swimming teacher jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  apprenticeships jobs  duty manager jobs  Swimming instructor jobs  general manager jobs  Regional Sales Manager jobs  assistant manager jobs  Swim Teacher jobs  Centre Manager jobs  Customer Services Advisor jobs  Team Leader jobs 
More jobs

Video Gallery

TVS Sports Surfaces
Established in 2009 as a specialist supplier of noise and vibration solutions, The TVS Group has successfully evolved into four key strategic divisions; TVS Sports Surfaces, TVS Gym Flooring, TVS Play Surfaces and TVS Acoustics.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Charles Lawrence
Charles Lawrence Surfaces has been at the forefront of the artificial sports surfacing industry since 1975, making it one of the most respected and long established names within the sector.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Myzone vs. wrist trackers
According to ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, wearables trumped the top spot for trends in 2019. However, the question between Myzone or wrist trackers still stands.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Diary dates

23-25 Jul 2019
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
21-22 Sep 2019
Locations worldwide,
23-26 Sep 2019
JW Marriott Turnberry Resort & Spa, Miami, United States
More diary dates