Hertfordshire leisure centre firm Stevenage Leisure Limited (SLL) will lose its contract with a third council in 2024.

Councillor Steve Jarvis, who is responsible for sports venues at North Herts Council, has revealed that SLL was unsuccessful in its bid to continue running the district’s leisure centres.

The company used to run leisure centres on behalf of Stevenage Borough Council, including the Fairlands Valley Outdoor Activity Centre and the Gordon Craig Theatre.

SLL also ran venues on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council, including Grove Theatre Dunstable.

Both authorities in Stevenage and Central Bedfordshire appointed Everyone Active to run their sports and leisure services, as part of contracts which began this year.

North Herts Council has already selected the company it wants to manage its leisure centres from April 2024 across Letchworth, Hitchin and Royston, including the Letchworth and Hitchin outdoor pools.

Councillors can name the firm publicly once a “standstill period” comes to an end in January.


Speaking at a cabinet meeting on December 12, 2023, Cllr Jarvis said: “It’s important to put on record our thanks to Stevenage Leisure Limited which has operated our leisure facilities very successfully for a significant period.

“We have worked with them very well.

“There is clearly going to be a change, but I think many of the staff who have been involved will remain involved.

“But Stevenage Leisure has done a great job for us over the past few years.”

Cllr Jarvis said five bidders came forward to take on the contract.

Three operators were left when the first stage of the process came to an end, “not including the current operator”, according to Cllr Jarvis.

North Herts Council scored bidders on quality (45 per cent of the final mark), price (45 per cent) and social value (10 per cent).

Cllr Jarvis told his cabinet colleagues: “There were certainly some questions about social value, about employment of people who have not been in employment.

“There are some requirements in terms of delivering training.

“There are also some social value requirements about carbon reduction.”

Cabinet members, who know the identity of the successful bidder, unanimously agreed to award that company the contract.

SLL also runs Catmose Sports Centre in Oakham on behalf of Rutland County Council.

That contract is due to end in July 2024 and the East Midlands authority has launched a procurement process.