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Serco-run national sports centres rated ‘outstanding’

Published: 21 Jul 2016

Two Serco-run national sports centres - Lilleshall and Bisham Abbey - have been rated ‘outstanding’ after completing the toughest assessment offered by Quest, Sport England’s leading national quality scheme. This is the first time a national sports centre has achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating, placing both sites in the top 1% of best managed leisure facilities in the UK.  The centres are also the only two sites in the country to achieve outstanding in the ‘Working with National Governing Bodies (NGBs)’ module.

Quest is the best-known improvement programme within the leisure industry and its rigorous assessments challenge even the very best leisure centres in the UK.  Having previously been rated ‘excellent’ by Quest in 2014, both Lilleshall and Bisham were able to qualify for a ‘Stretch’ assessment in an attempt to achieve the highest possible rating. 

The two centres went through a rigorous two-day assessment which involved a review of general practices on site, such as health and safety, a mystery visit and interviews with employees, customers, partners and NGBs of sport.

Overall, assessors were impressed by the quality of Serco’s business planning, its dedicated team and the exemplary relationships with elite sport and NGBs, all of which was in line with the ethos of delivering a ‘World Class’ facility.

Steve Nelson, Serco’s National Sports Centre Contract Manager, said:  “Like the world-class athletes that train at our centres, we are committed to challenging ourselves and continuously improving. Quest Stretch is much more than a tick-box exercise; it is an ongoing programme designed to improve our facilities for both employees and customers. To be rated outstanding at both Lilleshall and Bisham is a fantastic achievement and a real team effort."

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Quest’s Operations Director, Caroline Constantine, added: “Quest Stretch is the highest accreditation that can be achieved and as such it is an extremely demanding process. By meeting Quest Stretch’s very high standards, Serco has shown its commitment to providing quality facilities and service to its customers. In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that leisure facilities can demonstrate their value, and Quest Stretch accreditation helps them do just that.”

Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall provide outstanding training environments for elite athletes from sports such as professional football, rugby, tennis, and hockey. The centres are currently supporting over 200 athletes competing in this summer’s 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil, having previously supported 22 of the country’s medal-winning athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Both centres also provide excellent amenities for their local communities and grassroots teams.

Serco was awarded the 15-year management contract to run the national centres in 2011 and is responsible for providing a range of support services, including catering, hospitality and events, landscaping, reception and security services, marketing and communications. 


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