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GLL expansion continues with North Country Leisure merger

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Leisure operator GLL has furthered expanded its territories beyond the enterprise’s London heartland, through the acquisition of North Country Leisure (NCL).

NCL, which operates 12 leisure and sporting facilities across Cumbria and Newcastle City, has agreed to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of GLL. The move – which follows the recent win of six long leases from Swindon Borough Council and a separate merger deal with Carlisle Leisure Limited (CLL) – is a further sign of GLL spreading its wings across the UK.

GLL managing director Mark Sesnan told Leisure Opportunities that no money changed hands as part of the deal, which he said would create a symbiotic relationship between the two organisations.

“NCL and GLL have been in discussion for around 12 months about the best way forward for both organisations,” he said.

“ We are both charitable social enterprises and NCL is a like minded organisation. We have concluded that working together will be good for both of us and for our local authority client partners.”

Sesnan added that GLL has decided it wants to take its operations nationally and outside London, with the enterprise “happy” to talk to other leisure social enterprises about opportunities for joint working.

NCL has developed from its base in Hexham, operating leisure facilities and apprenticeship programmes on behalf of local councils including Copeland Borough Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council in Cumbria; and Eldon Leisure, Gosforth Pool and Outer West Pool in the city of Newcastle.

It is anticipated that NCL will become part of the GLL group from 1 April 2015. The NCL local board structure, which connects the local service with its communities, is to remain in place, working closely with the GLL board.

Chris Roberts, chair of North Country Leisure, said: “The decision by the NCL board to become part of GLL will preserve and enhance the strengths on which NCL has built its reputation, and gain advantages for both clients, customers and staff within a larger GLL group structure”.

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Leisure operator GLL has furthered expanded its territories beyond the enterprise’s London heartland, through the acquisition of North Country Leisure (NCL).
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GLL managing director Mark Sesnan said the enterprise has decided it wants to take its operations nationally and outside London
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