Frequently asked questions

January 21 2020

From 1 February 2020 Freedom Leisure will be managing The Stour Centre, Julie Rose Stadium and Spearpoint Pavilion on behalf of Ashford Borough Council. We know that there may be a number of queries from customers so we’ve put together a selection of Frequently Asked Questions that you may be asking about the transfer to Freedom Leisure

We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as Ashford Borough Council’s leisure partner. With so many councils seeing ever reducing budgets, Freedom Leisure is here to operate leisure facilities on behalf of its partners so that these wonderful local centres remain vibrant.

Ivan Horsfall Turner - Managing Director

Who is Freedom Leisure?

Freedom Leisure is a not-for-profit leisure trust that reinvests surpluses back into facilities for the community. They specialise in the operations of community leisure services with the intention of increasing the number of people accessing facilities and participating in an active lifestyle.

What experience do Freedom Leisure have?

Freedom Leisure currently operate 99 other centres around the UK on behalf of local authorities and leisure trusts – the addition of the sites in Ashford will bring the total over 100!

Why Freedom Leisure?

Freedom Leisure was awarded the contract after an extensive tendering process. Freedom Leisure was chosen based on their experience and fit with our community.

When will they take over?

From 1st February 2020.

How will this affect me?

This is a positive step forward for the leisure provision in Ashford with many exciting developments in the pipeline, with most of the sites seeing investment and improvements.

Current membership benefits will continue after the transfer to Freedom Leisure and there will be no price increase upon transfer. You do not need to do anything and your membership will simply continue as it is, so you can use the centres as normal. There will be the opportunity to take advantage of a Freedom Leisure Connected Membership – giving you access to all of the other, UK-wide Freedom Leisure Centres, great for those who like to stay active when they travel for business, visit family or go on holiday. Ask at your centre for more information about this.

What next?

It is not the Freedom Leisure way to simply enter a new contract and change everything to ‘the way we do things.’ We understand that one size doesn’t fit all. Instead we will work with the existing team members to continue their good work, whilst developing and improving where we can. At Freedom Leisure we truly believe that the local team is the biggest asset to the centres. They have in-depth knowledge about the facilities, the area, the local requirements and most importantly, you, our customers. We will use their knowledge, coupled with our experience of operating leisure centres, to ensure that all the centres are the best they can possibly be.

We will work hard to ensure the transition to Freedom Leisure is as seamless as possible. You will see the same staff working in your local leisure centre, but they will be wearing a new Freedom Leisure uniform.