Freedom Leisure to operate Forest Fitness Cinderford

Freedom Leisure, operators of five leisure centres on behalf of the Forest of Dean District Council has been awarded the management contract for Forest Fitness in Cinderford.

Freedom Leisure took over the management of the District Council’s five leisure centres at Cinderford, Lydney, Coleford, Newent and Sedbury in October 2015. Forest Fitness adjoins the facilities at Freedom Leisure Cinderford and is a welcome addition to Freedom Leisure’s fold. 

The contract, which is set to commence from the 1 April, will see Freedom Leisure work in partnership to invest £205,000 of District Council funding into improving the Forest Fitness facilities. This includes the refurbishment of the gym area, new state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a new technical operating system and full-time fitness staff.

Since becoming trustees last October, Cinderford Town Council has worked with the District Council to meet joint objectives surrounding leisure and fitness for the district. This led to the District Council awarding the management contract for Forest Fitness to Freedom Leisure.

Dave Spencer, Freedom Leisure Area Manager, says: “We are delighted to be taking over the operational management of this wonderful facility, a hidden gem nestled in the Forest. We will work with the current volunteers who have dedicated their time to running this facility and ensure that we work closely with both the trustees and the District Council to maximise accessibility, extending opening hours and making it the best it can be for all user groups in the community.

“The facility has done excellent work with local disability and over 60s groups and we will continue this work, however in addition, it is our aim to ensure that more people in the Forest of Dean can be more active more often, so we will be working to attract new users also.”

Richard Merrick, Freedom Leisure Fitness and Wellbeing Development Manager, says: “It is a wonderful large space, which will enable us to implement clear zones for cardiovascular kit, resistance weight machines, free weights and the very latest in fitness must-haves, a functional training area! We are also looking to fund full-time, fully qualified fitness staff who can help users on their journey to a fitter lifestyle.”

Councillor Terry Hale, Forest of Dean District Council cabinet member for community added: “We are delighted to be part of this positive partnership announcement. From a customer’s perspective the addition of Forest Fitness will mean that Freedom Leisure members will be able to use all six facilities under one membership. 

“Forest Fitness is an extremely well equipped facility and complements the other facilities and activities available at the Cinderford site, including the swimming pool which benefited from substantial District Council investment in summer 2014.

“Our further investment of £205,000 into Forest Fitness Cinderford will ensure that Freedom Leisure members have access to high standard gym facilities.”  

Councillor Lynn Sterry, as Chair of Cinderford Town Council, and as the Trustees of the Forest Fitness Centre confirmed that: “We are extremely pleased that Freedom Leisure has now been appointed to manage this unique Fitness Centre in Cinderford and would also take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers for their invaluable assistance in keeping the gym open whilst all the negotiations were taking place, and now look forward to continue working with them, in conjunction with Freedom Leisure and the District Council'.

To keep up to date with the latest developments, keep an eye on and Freedom Leisure Cinderford pages, along with the centres Facebook pages. For further information please call Freedom Leisure Cinderford on 01594 824008.

About Freedom Leisure

Freedom Leisure is a leading not-for-profit leisure trust. It currently manages 76 leisure centres in partnership with 15 local authorities in England and Wales.

Freedom Leisure is committed to the provision and development of inclusive leisure and fitness facilities. Through continued reinvestment, Freedom Leisure strives to provide a wide range of opportunities for improving health and wellbeing and maximising leisure time within all its communities.


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