As the UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Council and Managed by Denbighshire Leisure Ltd, enters its fourth year, Paul Cluett, FCIMSPA and MD of Alliance Leisure reflects on its success. 


Why have local authorities and leisure trusts chosen to manage capital projects through the UK Leisure Framework?


The UK Leisure Framework is unique, providing an end to end solution for leisure developments. In addition to procuring and managing the transformation of physical buildings, the Framework offers services that  contribute to whole-community engagement, providing an efficient and effective means of increasing opportunities for physical activity through inspiring active spaces.

All design and facility mix decisions result from comprehensive, evidence-based feasibility studies, supported by our expertise, gathered from more than 20 years of leisure development experience. Most local authority in-house legal, procurement and leisure management teams are already over stretched. Adding a potential multi-million pound leisure development project to the mix is beyond the resource of most. Providing a mechanism that enables project delivery, by leading leisure development experts, from concept to completion, resolves this resource issue and produces self-sustaining active spaces which transform communities. 

Describe a typical project delivered by the Framework


There is no such thing as a typical project. The UK Leisure Framework delivers a diverse array of projects. Project values range from £200K for the installation of  Anglesey’s first 3G pitch to £18 million for a new build destination water park in North Wales.

Projects completed under the Framework range from single site refurbishments to the reconfiguration of entire leisure stock portfolios. Whatever the project value, the Framework’s focus is always on the delivery of community value. Something as simple as an inexpensive play park refurbishment can have a huge impact on the long term health and wellbeing of a community.

In these times of austerity, some public sector leisure providers may be reluctant to invest in a non-statutory service such as leisure. What would you say to them?


Councils taking a longer term view of community wellbeing should consider calculated investment in leisure provision, even during times of austerity. Redevelopment can bring economic, health and social benefits to whole communities, delivering a return on investment that is hard to match.

In many cases, when old, tired leisure stock stops meeting community needs and becomes a drain on resource, the immediate reaction is to close it down. This is often not the only or the best solution. Alliance Leisure has worked with local authorities up and down the country, presenting and proving a case for reinvestment and regeneration in leisure. When the correct facility mix is presented in a vibrant, inspiring environment, communities re-engage and leisure facilities become economically sustainable.

The UK Leisure Framework helps to mitigate investment risk. Working with experts in leisure regeneration and maximising efficiencies at every stage of the development helps ensure the finished project delivers desired outcomes and creates income-generating opportunities which drive sustainability.

How are UK Leisure Framework projects funded?

Through multiple funding sources.  Many projects are funded through prudential borrowing from the PWLB whilst others use capital, privately sourced by Alliance Leisure. There is also the opportunity to incorporate third party grants. Some projects incorporate a mix of funding options. The UK Leisure Framework is built to be flexible, making it as easy as possible to invest.

There are lots of frameworks. Why are public sector leisure providers choosing the UK Leisure Framework?

The UK Leisure Framework adopts a full service approach, supporting all elements that contribute to a successful, sustainable development including; design, business planning, funding, construction and marketing. Most other frameworks do not have this bandwidth, instead focusing on individual elements. Also, this is the second generation Framework for Denbighshire County Council and the expertise they brought to the table has been absolutely instrumental in its success.

About the Framework

Denbighshire County Council launched the UK Leisure Framework in 2017, naming Alliance Leisure as leisure development partner. The UK Leisure Framework provides an efficient and effective means of procuring and managing leisure development projects and is open to all named public bodies and third sector leisure organisations across the UK (which is all UK Local Authorities).
Completed, current and committed projects: 33         
Completed projects value: £40.7 million
Project Questionnaires authorised: 81
Call off contracts signed: 31
Projects currently on site: 6

What do our clients say…

“Our internal procurement and legal teams do an outstanding job but capacity is limited and they would have struggled to successfully project manage a development of this scale.

The UK Leisure Framework provided an off-the-shelf yet highly specialist solution that gave access to leisure development expertise way beyond that of our internal team. This helped us make design decisions, based on  solid feasibility studies, that optimises the user experience, creating an environment that all walks of our community want to visit time and time again.

Alliance Leisure was instrumental in coordinating all aspects of the project from concept to completion. Footfall is up and we have increased our membership by 100 per cent, bringing welcome new revenues that surpass our original targets.”

Ian Saunders, Head of Tourism Leisure & Culture, Monmouthshire County Council

“The UK Leisure Framework focuses on developing the right business solution, rather than just the buildings, provides much more opportunity for innovation, as well as providing confidence that completed projects will be popular with the public and achieve their income targets.”

Jamie Groves, Managing Director, Denbighshire Leisure Ltd

“The cost certainty element of the UK Leisure Framework meant we had absolute clarity on costs that would be incurred by the proposed capital investment. This was hugely helpful in achieving project sign off.

Throughout the project, Alliance Leisure worked in partnership with us – from concept to completion, helping to ensure the achievement of desired outcomes. The leisure development expertise they brought to the table was central to the success of our investment.”

Malcolm Fleming, Programme Manager, West Suffolk Council

“The UK Leisure Framework gives a high degree of confidence . The Framework has been procured in accordance with EU Regulations and has been extensively tendered. It facilitated a direct appointed of Alliance Leisure for scoping the design, refurbishment and construction of our leisure projects.

The project teams that we have worked with from the architects through to builders were exceptional and really understood the leisure environment.

We have surpassed our initial business objectives for the projects both financially and in terms of usage. Customer and employee feedback on the projects have been fantastic.”

Kieron Vango, CEO at Inverclyde Leisure

Video Gallery of UK Leisure Projects

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