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Leisure Review

On 1 December 2016 Derbyshire Dales councillors voted unanimously to start the process of outsourcing the management of the District Council’s four Leisure Centres as a package to a new service provider. The buildings will continue to be owned by the District Council, but we are looking for a specialist leisure operator to take on the responsibility of managing the service for the next 10-15 years.

As a District Council we have invested heavily in our Leisure Centres in recent years, and this is the next step in sourcing further improvements for a valued service.

4 leisure centres montageAshbourne Leisure Centre, Bakewell Swimming Pool, Arc Leisure Matlock and Wirksworth Leisure Centre attract over 600,000 visitors each year and are an important asset to the communities they serve.

Most Leisure Centre members are Derbyshire Dales residents, which is why we are asking you to help us shape the new contract for the future.


A survey that ran from 6 March to 17 April 2017, together with consultations with partners and key stakeholders, will help define the contract, which is to be advertised in June this year. The results of the process will be reported back to Council no later than May 2018, when a final decision will be made.

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Background information


We will be adding to this list of Frequently Asked Questions as the Leisure Review process continues. If you have a question that isn't in the list below, please email it to communications@derbyshiredales.gov.uk

Q: How long is the outsourcing process likely to take?
A: We envisage the whole process taking approximately 18 months (from the point of elected members voted to outsource) meaning we could see the new operator in place by May/June 2018 if all goes smoothly.

Q: Who is likely to take over the management of the leisure facilities?
A: There is a long way to go before we can say for definite, however it is likely to be an existing Leisure Operator.

Q: Will prices increase?
A: Until submissions from prospective operators have been returned it is too early to say, however, to remain competitive it would be in any future operator's interest not to price people out of using the leisure facilities.

Q: Will availability/our regular bookings change?
A: At present we are consulting with key user groups/clubs to gain a clearer insight into what these groups would like to see regarding changes/use. The results of this consultation will be used to inform the specification which goes to tender.