Freedom Leisure, one of the UK’s leading charitable and not-for-profit leisure trusts has announced the appointment of Mark Learnihan as their new Business Development Director.

Mark started with Freedom Leisure in December 2019 as Head of Business Development and is an example of the leisure trust nurturing and developing talent from within. The trust is very confident that their future growth plans are in safe hands.  Ian Morey previous Business Development Director will remain with Freedom Leisure in a new role as Partnership Performance Director.

We are thrilled to promote Mark within our Senior Leadership Team. His extensive expertise and strategic vision will play a pivotal role in continuing our growth plans and expanding our portfolio of client partners.

Ivan Horsfall Turner

CEO - Freedom Leisure

Mark will be leading the Business Development Team at an exciting time, as the organisation looks to capitalise on emerging opportunities in the leisure sector. In this role, he will lead on cultivating strategic partnerships, and spearheading initiatives to enhance Freedom Leisure's position as one of the UK’s largest not-for-profit leisure trusts.

I am looking forward to getting started and contributing to our continued success.I very much feel that sport, physical activity and wellbeing has given me so much in my life, hence my passion for this sector, and now is the time to give something back, creating opportunities so communities can be more active, more often. That passion still burns inside me today and if I can help to build new facilities, opportunities and relationships with our local authority partners which encourages more people to be active and feel positive about themselves and their wellbeing, both physically and mentally, then I feel I will have achieved what I first set out to achieve in leisure.

Mark Learnihan

Business Development Director

Mark has worked in the leisure sector for over 30 years.  Beginning as a lifeguard at his local centre in Salisbury, he then progressed rapidly through the ranks and has held many senior roles in various organisations including local authorities and the leisure trust sector.

A dedicated and passionate leader, Mark has been part of the Freedom Leisure team that has successfully won numerous high-profile contracts over the last four years, the most recent being the contracts to manage the leisure and cultural facilities on behalf of Cotswold District Council and two leisure centres on behalf of Gloucester City Council namely GL1 & Oxstalls Sports Park. Following these successes, it is time for Mark to take the helm.