Association for Public Service Excellence
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APSE Sports and Leisure Seminar 2023

Rebuilding a future for Local Authority Leisure

Holywell Park, Loughborough University
Thursday 02 November 2023

Sponsored by:


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First there was Covid-19 and then an energy crisis and then rampant inflation. All have had substantial impacts on local authority leisure with many councils returning leisure provision in-house. Longer term, there needs to be an in-depth appraisal  of the role and outcomes expected of the local delivery of leisure services and physical activity. Ideally leisure should be a seamless partner within the sphere of primary health but achieving this remains elusive for many, operating as they do in a complex system where budgets are held tightly close. Recruitment has become particularly difficulty , competing as it does with other service sector businesses.

The seminar will explore the state of the market, staffing and options to move to renewable energy along with presentations from those on the front-line and the challenges they are negotiating

We will be looking at the challenges of refocussing a service and asking some fundamental questions about the nature of service provision in the future.

We are joined by leading industry speakers to address the issues and possible solutions.



Session One

State of the Leisure Market 2023

Mark Allman, CLOA and APSE Associate

Defining the Priorities for Sports & Leisure

Steve Welch, Strategic Lead - Leisure Operations at Sport England

The future of Swimming

Philip Brownlie, Head of Public Affairs, Swim England

Session Two

Leisure at Harrogate and North Yorkshire

Mark Tweedie, Managing Director, Brimhams Active

Adapting to change

Ian Brooke, Head of Community Services, Oxford City Council and CLOA

Session Three

Targeted Engagement

Laura Ivinson, Active Communities Service Manager, Blackpool Council

Building Healthy Communities

John Leaver, Head of Marketing, Paul Woodford, Strategic Engagement Director, Alliance Leisure

Session Four

Active Partnerships

Andy Taylor, Chief Executive, Active Partnerships

Net Zero & Physical Activity

Charlotte Banks, Principal Advisor, APSE Energy

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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