Serco Leisure site wins top award from Sport England

Published: 4 Mar 2019

Serco Leisure’s Basingstoke Aquadrome has received a prestigious award from Sport England’s National Benchmarking Service (NBS), which allows local authorities to compare the performance of their sports and leisure centres with that of equivalent facilities elsewhere in the country.

Basingstoke Aquadrome was recognised with the award for the highest Overall Scoring site, beating around 300 other leisure facilities, at a ceremony at the recent Quest & NBS Conference in Kenilworth. The centre also picked up an award in the Access category, as one of just three top-scoring facilities, which have all been particularly successful at attracting users from a wide range of backgrounds, including those from the most at-need groups.

NBS enables local authorities to compare the performance of their sport and leisure facilities with national benchmarks across a number of key performance indicators (KPIs), and to use this information to improve their service delivery.

It is delivered on behalf of Sport England by Leisure-net Solutions in partnership with the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University. Participating centres can opt for one of three services: the Effectiveness Report, focusing on access and customer satisfaction; the Efficiency Report, focusing on utilisation and finance, or the Full NBS Report, which combines the two.

The centres that won NBS Access awards had more KPIs in the top quartile in this category than any of the other facilities that took part in NBS last year. The 14 access KPIs include the percentage of visits from women, from over-65s, from disabled people under 65, from people from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds, and from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

Alan Elliott, Partnership Director at Serco Leisure said:

“A great night for the Aquadrome team! Getting the highest score overall for any site in the country is an amazing achievement, as I know we faced some serious opposition. For us to also do so well in the all-important Access category is especially pleasing, as I know that as a business making our centres welcoming and comfortable places for all is always at the forefront of our minds.

“Well done to the teams on site for the hard work they put in all year round - they really deserve these important awards.”

Mike Hill, NBS director, said:

“The Basingstoke Aquadrome has demonstrated that it is one of the best performers in the country, based on our independent analysis and benchmarking. It has shown excellent performance can be achieved in tough financial times.”

Two other Serco Leisure-managed sites were also recognised on the night - the Sport England, National Sports Centres, Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall. Both centres were part of an elite group of sports facilities in 2018 to retain Quest’s highest level of accreditation, Stretch Outstanding. This achievement keeps them in the top 1% of best-managed leisure facilities in the UK.