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GLL’s transformation programme for Belfast wins RICS social impact award

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Belfast’s £105m Leisure Transformation Programme has been recognised for its social impact by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The programme won the leisure category at the inaugural RICS Social Impact Awards, Northern Ireland.

The awards recognise the built environment's "positive and transformational contribution to society" across Northern Ireland.

In their assessment, the RICS jury said: "We were impressed by the way the programme achieved its goal of ensuring that everyone has access to modern, fit-for-purpose leisure facilities."

The programme involves Belfast City Council investing £105m over a 10-year period to improve its leisure centres, programmes and services.

Delivered in partnership with leisure operator GLL, the project forms part of the council's £325m physical investment programme.

The project includes the redevelopment of existing centres and the creation of a number of brand new facilities.

Two newly-built leisure centres – the £20m Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre and the £15m Brook Leisure Centre – opened their doors in 2019.

The timing of the next opening – of the redeveloped Andersonstown Leisure Centre – will depend on government guidance regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

Work has now begun on the redevelopment of the Avoniel leisure centre, while work to restore and extend Templemore Baths is due to begin in June 2020.

All the centres are managed by GLL under the Better brand and are equipped in partnership with Technogym, which has provided smart equipment.

“Technogym helped us ensure that every facility – whether it’s the new £20m Olympia Leisure Centre or the much older Shankill Leisure Centre – has the same selection of equipment," said Gareth Kirk, GLL regional director.

"It’s part of the commitment we’ve made to deliver a top-quality service for every community. As a result – for a relatively compact and small city – Belfast now has a huge amount of top class, public facilities.”

Jacqui Pope, GLL Head of Service, added: “The programme has already truly transformed leisure provision right across Belfast.

"We’re extremely proud of this award as recognition of the work our teams have put into the programme.

“GLL’s partnership with Belfast City Council is committed to helping people across the city become more active more often.”

To read more about the awards,

click here

• To read an interview with Gareth Kirk, GLL's regional director, about the £105 Leisure Transformation Project, click here for the May issue of HCM magazine.

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Belfast’s £105m Leisure Transformation Programme has been recognised for its social impact by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
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