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Serco chosen to manage National Water Sports Centre

Date: 31 Jan 2013

Serco has been announced as preferred bidder by Nottinghamshire County Council to manage, operate and develop the National Water Sports Centre, one of the UK's premier sporting venues and outdoor leisure attractions.

In a major boost to the local economy, Serco's proposal brings a £6.7m investment to enhance facilities across the 270 acre site including the construction of a number of new activities. This funding will ensure that the National Water Sports Centre continues to be a top class sporting venue for the talented local and international athletes who train there as well as a superb community facility for local residents.

Serco bid for the 21-year contract on the basis of a public/private partnership (PPP) so will act as managing agent to the Leisure Trust. The bid was judged to have a well thought out strategy linking capital investment to increasing visitor numbers in order to drive new income streams. Overall, it is estimated that the operation, management and investment proposals will save the council over £14m in revenue costs over the life of the contract.

Key proposals include:

  • A refurbished main building with improved and enhanced accommodation, catering and conferencing facilities
  • State-of-the-art community fitness facilities within a new larger gym and performance gym
  • Campsite improvements and developments featuring upgrades to the existing changing block and new outdoor wooden 'camping pods' set in small community groups
  • Refurbished changing facilities in the main building and at the ski tow, plus a fantastic new catering offer at the slalom course
  • An exciting new "Sky trail" high ropes course that will challenge the whole family on a large scale climbing adventure
  • An adventure golf course located in the new 'family' zone.
  • New activities on site such as Outdoor Lazer Quest, Segways, cycle hire and many more water based activities

Councillor John Cottee, Culture Committee Chairman at Nottinghamshire County Council said: "Serco has demonstrated a strong track record of service delivery as a leader in the leisure sector. We were impressed by both their proposals and believe this new relationship will provide a sustainable future for one of Nottinghamshire's crown jewels.

"Serco's proposals set out an exciting future the National Water Sports Centre. Four Team GB canoe slalomists who spent a number of years training at the site won medals at London 2012. The enhanced facilities will support and inspire a new generation and hopefully create more Olympic medallists from Nottinghamshire."

Brian Taylor, who will be Chairman of the new Trust added: "We are delighted to have been selected as Nottinghamshire County Council's preferred partner and are keen to start implementing our exciting proposals as soon as the contracts are finalised." 

Keith Thomas, Managing Director for Serco's leisure business commented: "We feel privileged to have the opportunity to enhance the National Water Sports Centre in partnership with the County Council. On the back of an unforgettable year of sport in 2012, we are very much looking forward to implementing our innovative proposals."

Charles Johnston from Sport England said: "This long-term deal for the operation of the National Water Sports Centre is great news for grassroots sport in Nottingham and for the sports groups who rely on this facility. We look forward to continuing to work with Nottingham County Council, who have demonstrated their commitment to the facility and the excellent partner they have appointed in Serco."

Serco provides a comprehensive and high quality range of health, leisure, fitness, well being and community focused services, managing 75 facilities leisure facilities on behalf of Community Leisure Trusts, Local Authorities and Universities across the country.

These include the national centres of Lilleshall and Bisham Abbey on behalf of Sport England, as well as leisure facilities for, among others, Mansfield District Council, Manchester City Council, West Lancashire District Council, Bolton Council and Shropshire County Council.


For further information, please contact the Serco UK & Europe Media Relations team:

Manjeet Turner, 07718 195 320, manjeet.turner@serco.com

Tracey Cobbett, 07590 779 327, tracey.cobbett@serco.com

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Last Updated: 31 Jan 2013