April 2024
Freedom Leisure to manage Malvern Vale and Upton Hill Community Centres

12 Jan 2024

Following approval from Malvern Hills District Council, Freedom Leisure will soon be taking over the management of Malvern Vale and Upton Hill Community Centres.

The centres, which are currently managed by YMCA Worcestershire, will be handed over on 1 February 2024. The charity has made the decision following an internal review to refocus on developing its core services, whilst maintaining a commitment to see the community centres grow and effectively support the community.

Freedom Leisure will take a local and bespoke approach to maximise the opportunities and services provided at each centre by working with local communities and partners, as well as delivering specialist Freedom Leisure activities.

At an Executive Committee meeting in November, MHDC approved YMCA Worcestershire’s application to end its management of the centres and to allocate up to £56,000 of council reserves to support operational costs.

The decision supports the council’s Pivot to Wellness Strategy which aims to work with partners to help people find the best ways to be active and connected.

Cllr Tom Wells, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “The council would like to thank the staff at YMCA Worcestershire for their continued hard work and dedication to serving the community over the years. We wish them luck for the future. We look forward to seeing Freedom Leisure’s plans come to fruition and the benefit it will have on the community. The move fits with the council’s vision for wellness in the Malvern Hills and how leisure is essential for community wellbeing, developing relationships, and more.”

Mick York, Head of Business Development at YMCA Worcestershire, said: “Since taking on the custodianship of these vital community spaces, YMCA Worcestershire has been honoured to serve the residents of Malvern Vale and Upton. We express our heartfelt appreciation for the support received from the community and acknowledge the privilege it has been to contribute to the well-being of these neighbourhoods.”

Rob Tyler, Area Manager, Freedom Leisure – Worcester, added: “Freedom Leisure is thrilled to be working in partnership with Malvern Hills District Council to take on the management of both the Malvern Vale and Upton Hill Community Centres. We look forward to meeting all the existing hirers and community groups, and to explore whether they would like any support to develop and promote the fantastic services they already offer. We share the council’s vision for the centres to become vibrant and viable community health hubs, that meet the unique needs of each community, help reduce health inequalities, and improve the social wellbeing and lives of the people of Malvern.”


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