City of Manchester Institute of Gymnastics

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by City of Manchester Institute of Gymnastics's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from City of Manchester Institute of Gymnastics is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

cityofmanchestergymnastics.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | EQUUS ENGLAND
did. But in the end, we stuck to the
principles taught to us by John Lewis
and set about differentiating ourselves
on value, assortment, service and
honesty. For example, for “service”
we took a decision from the outset to
offer free delivery to UK customers.
This is particularly appealing to
customers in rural locations who often
cannot easily get what they need for
their horse. While we’ve absorbed that
cost, the daily feedback we receive
tells us that customers appreciate
thegesture.
Earning credibility also took time.
Suppliers in the somewhat traditional
equestrian sector were reluctant to
deal with an internet-only business,
for several reasons. Firstly, they
were nervous of the risk of opening
accounts for a back-bedroom
seller who would simply flog their
products on auction websites for
little margin, often without VAT.
Secondly, they were struggling with
supporting their longstanding bricks-
and-mortar customers. These small,
family-run businesses were failing
to seize the opportunities presented
by e-commerce and the suppliers
were torn between supporting them
and moving forward themselves. It
was therefore critical that we always
presented ourselves professionally and
so having a corporate background
and an investor on our board
certainlyhelped.
Looking forward
Four years later and we had grown
our little company to nearly £1 million
in turnover. Our operation was
just about profitable. We’d served
35,000 equestrians in both the UK
and overseas and built an audience
of 60,000 followers and fans on
numerous social media networks.
We’d created jobs too – five in total. It
was time to take EQUUS into its next
stage: growth.
We’ve always taken the view that it’s
better to own 50 per cent of something
than 100 per cent of nothing and
because of that we sought a second
round of equity finance. Our original
investor introduced us to the British
Bank of Business and, in late summer
2018, we raised a further £550,000
of investment via the Enterprise
Investment Scheme and Midlands
Engine Investment Fund.
We plan to create more jobs, including
apprenticeships, and to launch our
own clothing range. We wonder
whether there will be any government
help with manufacturing in the UK,
post-Brexit. Equestrians tend to
be conservative types and offering
clothing made in Great Britain would
certainly appeal to them. Beyond
that is the possibility of international
expansion. Horse riding is popular all
over the world and a British export
brand could thrive. This would require
further investment, but it could create
more jobs and help riders everywhere
to lead a fulfilling riding life.
We plan to
create more
jobs, including
apprenticeships,
and to launch
our own
clothing
range
We work with leading
brands in the UK,
Europe and beyond
33CITY OF MANCHESTER INSTITUTE OF GYMNASTICS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Directors Colin Leigh and
JaneLeigh
Gymnasts and coaches celebrating
Colin’s 70th birthday
The City of Manchester Institute of Gymnastics is an artistic
gymnastics centre based in Gorton. Originating in 1971 at
a large male comprehensive school in north Manchester,
the club progressed with Colin Leigh at the helm, from a school
gym into a purpose-designed facility in a converted Victorian
swimming pool in 1983. It was opened by Sir Bobby Charlton
after a large period of fundraising, and lobbying of Manchester
City Council. After the building proved too old to be maintained,
the institute moved to its present facility in Gorton with help
from its partners Manchester City Council and Sport England,
who helped to convert a decommissioned public swimming pool
into a state-of-the-art gymnastics centre. This 40-square-metre
pyramid building was opened in 2004 by the Lord Mayor and
The Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman. Colin tells the
Review
more.
Over £250,000 has been raised by the club over the years to gain the necessary
facility and apparatus to further gymnastics in Manchester. Along the way we have
produced Olympians, world and European gymnasts, international and national
champions and also Commonwealth Games champions. Our mission has not
changed throughout this period, however, and we continue strive to provide a
programme of gymnastics activity to enhance physical and mental wellbeing to as
many children as possible, of all ages, gender and ability.
Boasting up to 2,000 members, gained mainly through positive word-of-mouth
referrals and social media marketing, we now face the possibility of not having
enough space. We cater for over 60 classes per week from beginners through
FACTS ABOUT
CITY OF MANCHESTER
INSTITUTE OF GYMNASTICS
»Directors: Colin Leigh and
Jane Leigh
»Established in 1971
»Based in Gorton, Manchester
»Services: Artistic gymnastics
club
»No. of employees: 25
»Annual membership of 2,000
»Affiliated with British
Gymnastics
City of Manchester
Institute of Gymnastics
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | CITY OF MANCHESTER INSTITUTE OF GYMNASTICS
to advanced and high-flyer groups,
receiving either 60 or 90 minutes of
tuition. There are 1,600 children per
week at this level. In addition, there
are development groups of varying
ages and abilities and these provide a
significant pool of talent, totalling 130
children, who will then move to primary,
junior and senior competition groups.
The staff consists of 20 expert coaches,
three administrators and two caretakers
and managers. I am an Honorary Master
Coach and judge and I manage the
institute alongside International and
High Performance Coach Jane Leigh.
The club runs a timetable of activity
seven days a week, 50 weeks of the
year. Most of our activities are after
the school day has finished and also
at weekends. Between 4pm and
7pm seven general classes take place
from Monday to Friday. On Saturday
mornings over 20 general classes
are coached between 9am and 2pm
and on Sunday morning 12 classes
are delivered between 9am and
2pm to complete our programme.
Thecompetitive groups train between
5pm and 9pm each weekday evening,
from 1pm to 5pm each Saturday and
also from 9am to 2pm Sunday.
National success coupled with
professionalism
The popularity of gymnastics as a sport
has increased dramatically since the
London Olympics in 2012. The British
successes in London were followed
up in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with the
British gymnastics team having the
second-highest medal tally out of all
of the sports. Our membership has
increased by 40 per cent from this
period to a point where we have had
to be more creative in finding space for
extra classes.
We are extremely proud of our
coaching and teaching method,
stemming from our educational
viewpoint and a deep understanding
of the sport. A large proportion of our
coaching staff come from a teaching
background, which brings a sound
methodology and professionalism to all
our programmes.
Expert coach Chelsey
assisting a student with
a back flick
We have had
to be more
creative in
finding space
for extra
classes
35CITY OF MANCHESTER INSTITUTE OF GYMNASTICS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Sound strategy leads to more
development
It has become obvious that we need
to venture into the next stage of our
development by securing funding and
planning for an even larger and more
diverse premises. This could cater
for even greater numbers, differing
aspects of gymnastics and improved
catering and changing facilities. A
feasibility study has been secured, and
links with our partners in the council
have shown a desire for a new-build
and extension in the near future.
Plans for a new health and community
centre in the immediate vicinity would
release land adjacent to the present
gym, in turn enabling the club to
develop its plans towards an even
bigger and better facility.
The club was for a long time a
community associated sports club.
We are now a not-for-profit limited
company, heavily investing back into
the club, following a strategy which
includes increasing membership to
reach more and more children. Not
only does this also boost our ability to
reinvest in the community, but it also
satisfies our core aim of introducing
gymnastics to as many individuals as
possible and meeting the sporting and
health needs of children throughout
Manchester.
An inspirational future
Fundamentally, we recognise that
gymnastics is the bedrock of all
our sports activities. As schools are
restricted in how much physical activity
they can bring to their constricted
timetable, the club feels it is our
mission to make available these
activities in a facility which has the
wow factor. In the future the club
would look to introduce trampolining,
adult classes and team gym and to
encourage more post-15-year-olds to
enjoy this great sport. In addition, we
wish to provide a future programme
of school gymnastics activity, with
City of Manchester Gymnastics’
coaches setting up programmes
alongside teachers. In 2021, the
club will celebrate 50 years since our
inauguration. With the passion and
enthusiasm of the present staff, the
next 50 years promises to be every bit
as exciting as the last.
It has become
obvious that we
need to venture
into the next
stage of our
development by
securing
funding and
planning for an
even larger and
more diverse
premises
British medallist Renee
Pullin
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | CITY OF MANCHESTER INSTITUTE OF GYMNASTICS
to advanced and high-flyer groups,
receiving either 60 or 90 minutes of
tuition. There are 1,600 children per
week at this level. In addition, there
are development groups of varying
ages and abilities and these provide a
significant pool of talent, totalling 130
children, who will then move to primary,
junior and senior competition groups.
The staff consists of 20 expert coaches,
three administrators and two caretakers
and managers. I am an Honorary Master
Coach and judge and I manage the
institute alongside International and
High Performance Coach Jane Leigh.
The club runs a timetable of activity
seven days a week, 50 weeks of the
year. Most of our activities are after
the school day has finished and also
at weekends. Between 4pm and
7pm seven general classes take place
from Monday to Friday. On Saturday
mornings over 20 general classes
are coached between 9am and 2pm
and on Sunday morning 12 classes
are delivered between 9am and
2pm to complete our programme.
Thecompetitive groups train between
5pm and 9pm each weekday evening,
from 1pm to 5pm each Saturday and
also from 9am to 2pm Sunday.
National success coupled with
professionalism
The popularity of gymnastics as a sport
has increased dramatically since the
London Olympics in 2012. The British
successes in London were followed
up in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with the
British gymnastics team having the
second-highest medal tally out of all
of the sports. Our membership has
increased by 40 per cent from this
period to a point where we have had
to be more creative in finding space for
extra classes.
We are extremely proud of our
coaching and teaching method,
stemming from our educational
viewpoint and a deep understanding
of the sport. A large proportion of our
coaching staff come from a teaching
background, which brings a sound
methodology and professionalism to all
our programmes.
Expert coach Chelsey
assisting a student with
a back flick
We have had
to be more
creative in
finding space
for extra
classes
35CITY OF MANCHESTER INSTITUTE OF GYMNASTICS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Sound strategy leads to more
development
It has become obvious that we need
to venture into the next stage of our
development by securing funding and
planning for an even larger and more
diverse premises. This could cater
for even greater numbers, differing
aspects of gymnastics and improved
catering and changing facilities. A
feasibility study has been secured, and
links with our partners in the council
have shown a desire for a new-build
and extension in the near future.
Plans for a new health and community
centre in the immediate vicinity would
release land adjacent to the present
gym, in turn enabling the club to
develop its plans towards an even
bigger and better facility.
The club was for a long time a
community associated sports club.
We are now a not-for-profit limited
company, heavily investing back into
the club, following a strategy which
includes increasing membership to
reach more and more children. Not
only does this also boost our ability to
reinvest in the community, but it also
satisfies our core aim of introducing
gymnastics to as many individuals as
possible and meeting the sporting and
health needs of children throughout
Manchester.
An inspirational future
Fundamentally, we recognise that
gymnastics is the bedrock of all
our sports activities. As schools are
restricted in how much physical activity
they can bring to their constricted
timetable, the club feels it is our
mission to make available these
activities in a facility which has the
wow factor. In the future the club
would look to introduce trampolining,
adult classes and team gym and to
encourage more post-15-year-olds to
enjoy this great sport. In addition, we
wish to provide a future programme
of school gymnastics activity, with
City of Manchester Gymnastics’
coaches setting up programmes
alongside teachers. In 2021, the
club will celebrate 50 years since our
inauguration. With the passion and
enthusiasm of the present staff, the
next 50 years promises to be every bit
as exciting as the last.
It has become
obvious that we
need to venture
into the next
stage of our
development by
securing
funding and
planning for an
even larger and
more diverse
premises
British medallist Renee
Pullin

cityofmanchestergymnastics.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster