The centres, which are currently managed by YMCA Worcestershire, will be handed over on 1 February 2024. The charity has made the decision following an internal review to refocus on developing its core services, whilst maintaining a commitment to see the community centres grow and effectively support the community.

Freedom Leisure will take a local and bespoke approach to maximise the opportunities and services provided at each centre by working with local communities and partners, as well as delivering specialist Freedom Leisure activities.

At an Executive Committee meeting in November, MHDC approved YMCA Worcestershire’s application to end its management of the centres and to allocate up to £56,000 of council reserves to support operational costs.

The decision supports the council’s Pivot to Wellness Strategy which aims to work with partners to help people find the best ways to be active and connected.

The council would like to thank the staff at YMCA Worcestershire for their continued hard work and dedication to serving the community over the years. We wish them luck for the future. We look forward to seeing Freedom Leisure’s plans come to fruition and the benefit it will have on the community. The move fits with the council’s vision for wellness in the Malvern Hills and how leisure is essential for community wellbeing, developing relationships, and more

Cllr Tom Wells

Portfolio Holder for Community Services at Malvern Hills District Council

Since taking on the custodianship of these vital community spaces, YMCA Worcestershire has been honoured to serve the residents of Malvern Vale and Upton. We express our heartfelt appreciation for the support received from the community and acknowledge the privilege it has been to contribute to the well-being of these neighbourhoods

Mick York

Head of Business Development at YMCA Worcestershire

Freedom Leisure is thrilled to be working in partnership with Malvern Hills District Council to take on the management of both the Malvern Vale and Upton Hill Community Centres. We look forward to meeting all the existing hirers and community groups, and to explore whether they would like any support to develop and promote the fantastic services they already offer. We share the council’s vision for the centres to become vibrant and viable community health hubs, that meet the unique needs of each community, help reduce health inequalities, and improve the social wellbeing and lives of the people of Malvern

Rob Tyler

Area Manager, Freedom Leisure - Worcester

All existing bookings for events and activities at both centres will still be honoured by the YMCA up until 31 January 2024. Bookings after this date will be transferred over.

Current hirers will be contacted in the coming weeks and offered the chance to meet the Freedom Leisure team. Enquiries for future bookings, hire or collaboration will be open via the Freedom Leisure website soon.

If any community groups or individuals are interested in hiring either centre for block bookings or a one-off activity, please contact Freedom Leisure by email: