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Ethics Leisure to steer £1.3m project following budget cut

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Health and fitness consultancy firm Ethics Leisure will take on a more active role in an ambitious £1.3m project at Dukinfield in Greater Manchester.

Active Tameside – a not-for-profit registered charity – is transforming a traditional 1970s swimming pool to a family activity and 24/7 fitness centre, including a gym, exercise studios, cycling studio, large soft play area and a luxury members lounge and café, all encircled by an indoor running track.

Work on the project is well underway and expected to open in November 2016. However, budget cuts have meant that Active Tameside has had to turn to Ethics Leisure to help in getting the project completed by providing "creative and affordable solutions".

Mark Tweedie, Active Tameside chief executive, said: “Like other not-for-profit sports trusts, we have had our budget cut from government which means we have a lean team that must be sharp to deliver on our promises.

“Rather than cut back on our aspirations, we called in Andy Gill [managing director] at Ethics Leisure to bring his extensive experience, fresh ideas and competitive contacts to help us fulfil our brief. With technology and innovation moving so fast in the leisure industry, we see a great value in having Andy on board, as we know he’ll secure us the best kit and the best deals possible.”

Dukinfield suffers from a higher than average incidence of poor health outcomes in the community. Active Tameside provides a range of sport and fitness activities to those living in the area. Facilities must be accessible to the community to help raise activity levels, improve health and engage with young people and families to instil healthy behaviours as early as possible.

The Dukinfield site will be a ‘destination’ venue with a strong emphasis on entertainment alongside exercise to motivate people to visit regularly. This will include DJ nights on the gym floor and a members’ lounge with fresh coffee and refreshments, free WiFi, sofas and tables to create a social hub.

Tweedie said: “This site is one of the most inspirational and aspirational in terms of how we are maximising its footprint and delivering a genuinely distinctive leisure centre offering to fulfil the activity needs of our local families.”

An iTrain Gym brand will be introduced at the site, with a monthly membership being kept to under £20 per person. Its success will be dependent on high footfall.

Gill and his team are also working closely with Active Tameside to deliver staff training. He said: “We are competing with nearby low cost facilities but are confident that the quality, presentation and breadth of services at iTrain Gym will attract members and families in particular.

“Active Tameside is committed to offering first-rate facilities at accessible prices so my brief is to source innovative fitness solutions and equipment at the best prices to ensure the right partnerships are put in place to meet the brief and keep within budget whilst creating a state-of-the-art high footfall facility. All planning has focused on keeping standards high but costs low so we must attract a high volume of members to secure the success of the site.”

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Health and fitness consultancy firm Ethics Leisure will take on a more active role in an ambitious £1.3m project at Dukinfield in Greater Manchester.
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An iTrain Gym brand will be introduced at the site
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