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Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall in top 1% of best-managed leisure facilities in the UK

Published: 20 Jun 2018

Serco Leisure’s National Sports Centres Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall have both retained their Quest - Outstanding rating, joining an elite group of facilities, which have kept the highest ranking for consecutive years.

Quest is the leading Continuous Improvement Tool for the leisure industry. To receive an Outstanding rating, first a facility needs to have been judged ‘Excellent’. Once that rating has been achieved, centres can apply for the Quest Stretch Assessment, which would enable them to aim for Outstanding.

Quest noted the “high standards of service delivery and customers’ and partners’ opinions of those services” and the fact that Serco Leisure, “…is a ‘trusted organisation in the eyes of its partners and Sport England in terms of delivering what it says it will”.

This achievement by Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall keeps them in the top 1% of best-managed leisure facilities in the UK.

Steve Nelson, Serco’s National Sports Centre Partnership Director, said:  

“Our primary goal is improvement, and we model the way we work on the example set by the elite athletes who use our facilities. They never rest on their laurels and neither do we.

“This Quest Stretch Assessment and result are proof of the amazing work done by teams across both centres to provide great service to every user of the facilities we offer.”

“I’m particularly proud of the work we’ve done with National Governing Bodies (NGB), onsite partners and community partners, resulting in us gaining outstanding in partnerships and collaboration.”

Quest’s Operations Director, Caroline Constantine, added:

“Quest Stretch is an extremely difficult award to achieve.  A centre or team needs to achieve Excellent in their Quest Plus assessment before they can even consider Stretch. Then they need to achieve Excellent on an unannounced Quest Stretch entry assessment before they can proceed to the validation day. Completing this when all the team are around is challenging, but when the assessment is completed entirely by the staff on shift on the day, that is a different ball game!

This is where centres and teams have fallen down in the past, as demonstrating front-line staff have a good working knowledge of all processes, procedures and systems is much harder than management. 

Lilleshall and Bisham have clearly demonstrated that there is a quality of culture throughout the venues on any day of the year, as this is the second time they have achieved Stretch.  Well done to all the teams there, a fantastic accolade.”

As well as recognising their industry-leading work with NGBs, Quest were also highly impressed with the community engagement initiatives running at each centre. The success of groups such as the Prime Timers, for members over 60, showed the good work the National Centres were doing to attract non-traditional users of fitness facilities.

Charles Johnston, Director of Property at Sport England said: 

“This is a huge achievement for the two National Sports Centres, joining a very select group of leisure providers who can boast of retaining their Outstanding rating in Quest Stretch.

"It’s great to see the work the centres do being recognised like this, from the relationships they’ve formed and nurtured with key NGBs to the work they do with the community to encourage people of all ages and abilities to get active, using the high quality sporting facilities they have on their doorsteps.”

Serco Leisure 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.