Local leisure centres maintain UK-leading status

Leisure centre users in Amber Valley have been given confirmation that the facilities they use and services they receive are the best in the UK!

It was announced this week that Amber Valley Borough Council’s Alfreton, Ripley and William Gregg VC Leisure Centres have all maintained their status of ‘outstanding’ for the third consecutive time according to an industry-leading Quality Scheme.

The leisure centres, managed by Places for People Leisure limited, on behalf of the Council, passed the toughest assessment offered by Sport England’s leading national quality assurance scheme, ‘Quest’.  Rated as ‘outstanding’ two years ago the Centres have continued to demonstrate their commitment to outstanding service provision and quality.

Quest is the best-known and most widely used improvement programme within the leisure industry. Its rigorous assessment and validation processes challenge even the very best leisure centres in the UK, and only a handful have achieved the top accolade. All of Amber Valley’s sites managed by Places for People have achieved the Outstanding status which means that they are among the very best in the country.

To achieve the top award, Alfreton, Ripley and William Gregg VC Leisure Centres went through a rigorous two-day validation process following two detailed submissions surrounding ‘impact and outcomes’ and programming for all’.   Prior to the validation the Centres’ had to achieve the banding of ‘Excellent’ in both a Mystery Visit and separate ‘Unannounced Assessment’ where the team were tested across a wide range of operational themes which included business planning, maintenance, statutory compliance and community outcomes.

Councillor David Taylor, Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Health, commented: “This truly is an outstanding achievement. It is one thing to have attained the status initially but quite another to have continued operating at those levels day in and day out for the past two years. I would like to congratulate all of the Places for People staff for their hard work and commitment in achieving the award and continuing to deliver first class services to all of our customers.”

Peter Sharkey, General Manager for the Amber Valley Contract, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for the teams at each of the Centres’ as the Quest process is extremely rigorous and to have achieved this on three consecutive occasions is a credit to all those involved. The Validator in his summing up said that he was completely wowed by the feedback he had received from staff, customers and partners. He added that it was refreshing that we had not lost sight of our community objectives and focus and that there was a good deal of evidence of collaborative working.” 

Quest Pic (1)

Cllr Taylor meeting the Places for People Management Team (left to right Peter Sharkey, Jenny Hedgecock, Cllr Taylor, Ian Mee, Stefan Joyce) 

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