Freedom Leisure celebrates 20 years of improving lives through leisure

April 1 2022

Freedom Leisure, one of the UK’s leading not-for-profit charitable leisure trusts, is celebrating 20 years of successfully operating leisure centres and cultural venues on behalf of its local authority partners across England and Wales.

The charitable trust was formed on 1 April 2002, starting out managing four leisure centres in East Sussex on behalf of Wealden District Council. Over the last 20 years, the trust has seen exceptional growth and now manages 109 facilities across England and Wales, ranging from local community swimming pools, regional leisure centres and theatres to major tourist attractions.

Freedom Leisure is now one of the UK’s leading not-for-profit leisure trusts and one thing that has not changed in the last 20 years of operation is its mission to improve the health and wellbeing of all the communities it serves.

Freedom Leisure is proud to deliver high quality and locally-focussed services and is committed to their ongoing development, supporting local communities to remain healthy and happy, for example 60,000 children now take part in Freedom Leisure’s swim school each week.  As a not-for-profit organisation all of its surpluses are reinvested to support the objectives shared with local authority partners to increase physical activity participation and improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.

We are rightly proud of the 20 years we’ve been operating leisure and cultural venues across the UK. We’ve come a long way since 2002 and we are firmly looking ahead to the future and the continued growth of Freedom Leisure with more partnerships and expanding our reach into new communities, continuing to make a difference to the health of our communities and improving lives through leisure.

Ivan Horsfall Turner | Freedom Leisure's CEO

One of the leisure trust’s key strengths has been its collaborative approach with its partners and the belief in operating the facilities in a strong and genuine partnership. This is as true today as it has ever been as the trust navigates its way out of the recent pandemic and recovers from the forced closure of leisure centres and the imminent reality of rising energy prices which is a real threat to the viability of certain leisure services in the UK.

Ivan added, “We are facing challenges in the near future particularly with energy price rises and the cost of living crisis but we are proactively facing these head on and an example of our innovative approach is the launch of our Environmental and Sustainability commitments to be net zero by 2030 and working with our client partners and our customers in having a real meaningful impact on climate change where we can.”