Gloucester City Council announces new interim leisure facilities provider

Freedom Leisure, one of the UK’s leading charitable and not-for-profit leisure trusts that manages over 100 leisure and cultural facilities across England and Wales, will be the new interim provider of leisure facilities in Gloucester.

Following a procurement exercise, the council has appointed Freedom Leisure to manage the city’s leisure facilities and continue the process that has already begun of a phased reopening.

All former employees of Aspire are guaranteed an interview and are being invited to a recruitment day at Oxstalls Sports Park on Monday, November 6, as are those who freelanced at the leisure facilities. To attend, prospective recruits should register on Freedom Leisure’s website

Since the Aspire Sports Trust announced it could no longer continue to operate, the council and University of Gloucestershire have begun a phased process of reopening the facilities with the pitches at Oxstalls now in regular use, and the Park Run and Gloucestershire Lawn Tennis Association having also returned.

GL1 has welcomed back Gloucester City Swimming Club and the University has fully reopened the Oxstalls Sports Arena for community use.

Freedom Leisure, which also manages Forest of Dean District Council and Cotswold District Council’s Leisure and Culture Facilities, will reopen more of the site’s amenities over the next few weeks and will announce more details as soon as they are available.

The not-for-profit leisure trust, which will run the facilities until a permanent operator is appointed, will also be contacting local sporting clubs to discuss their requirements with them. 

Councillor Andy Lewis, cabinet member for Culture and Leisure at Gloucester City Council, said: “We are delighted to have Freedom Leisure as our new interim provider and have been impressed with their enthusiasm and dedication to getting this right for everybody. They’re very experienced and can bring a wealth of knowledge to our leisure centres so I’m convinced that customers will benefit from that, and we are very much looking forward to working with them. We know this has been tough time for the employees and freelancers who worked there, and those who rely on the centre, but we’re confident that Freedom Leisure will make this transition seamless and get things up and running as soon as they can. I hope that all those who want to will take up the offer to interview for roles with Freedom Leisure on November 6.”

Freedom Leisure CEO, Ivan Horsfall Turner, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the interim contract to run GL1 and Oxstalls Sports Park on behalf of Gloucester City Council. Our vision is to ‘improve lives through leisure’ and we very much look forward to working with our new colleagues at these vitally important local amenities.”

Former employees or freelancers should visit to register their interest in the recruitment day. There will be three interview sessions; 11am, 1pm and 6pm. These sessions will take place at Oxstalls Sports Park.

For more information contact Freedom Leisure by emailing