Leisure charities, Fusion Lifestyle and Active Life have joined forces in completing a new long-term deal with Canterbury City Council.

The deal will see Active Life enter into 50-year leases for the Council’s three main leisure centres and then work with Fusion to deliver an investment package of circa £11.5million into Kingsmead Leisure Centre in Canterbury, Herons Leisure Centre in Herne Bay and Whitstable Swimming Pool.  

The investment package will refurbish and redevelop the leisure centres, creating extended and improved health and fitness facilities, new family-friendly play facilities and high quality changing, circulation and café areas.

As part of the deal, Active Life will become a subsidiary of Fusion, but will continue operating with an independent identity and a local board.

Peter Kay, Chief Executive of Fusion said “In an increasingly challenging environment for local authority leisure services, there is a demand for greater efficiency and more innovative thinking.  This partnership between Fusion and Active Life allows both organisations to further their charitable objectives and delivers to the City Council significant improvements to their leisure facilities and the future financial position.”.

Neil West, Chief Executive of Active Life said “We are delighted to have brought this deal to fruition to provide a stable platform for the service for the long-term and facilitate long-awaited transformations of our centres that will expand the reach, capacity and quality of the service. It is also a deal that couples continuity of local experience, knowledge and the extensive partnerships that have been established, with the robustness and expertise of Fusion Lifestyle”.

David Ford, Director of Commissioned Services at Canterbury City Council said “This will be a huge investment in leisure facilities, and we know from our previous consultations that the demand from local people is definitely there. The merger between Active Life and Fusion Lifestyle will bring considerable benefits for both us and residents – it’s a great combination of local knowledge and the experience of a larger, national operator.”