Horfield Leisure Centre

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Horfield Leisure Centre'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 Horfield Leisure Centre 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


CameronBate, general manager
Impressive well-lit
pool hall
With nearly one million users a year, Horfield Leisure
Centre is the most prestigious leisure centre in
Bristol. It serves the population of north Bristol and
argues that its aim is to appeal to a wide range of users, not to
focus on a particular segment of clients or a limited range of
activities. It is a flagship site for its founder, Bristol City Council,
which built it in the 1980s as a sports hall and group exercise
facility. It is now run by Everyone Active, which manages
160 leisure facilities in England and generates a turnover of
£180million. This gives it the services and facilities to match
the excellent reputation it has earned since it has been open.
Cameron Bate, the general manager of Horfield, takes up the
North Bristol has grown significantly over the past two decades and our centre has
become a focal point for the local residents to improve their health and fitness.
We can justifiably say that we directly improve the quality of life of our customers
with what we do best, and that we positively change people’s lives every day. In
addition, with more than 250 staff Horfield provides a superb career path for many
Bristol residents and has been the proving ground for the development of careers
in our industry. Many Horfield “graduates” have moved on to become leaders in
As a result of our huge popularity and the need for an increase in sport and
leisure provision for our catchment area, Horfield saw a huge investment in the
»General manager:
»Established in 1982
»Based in Horfield, north Bristol
»Services: Public facility catering
for all ages and abilities
»No. of employees: 258
»1 million visits each year
Horfield Leisure Centre
Highlighting best practice
1990s and a complete refurbishment
of its facility. This investment of
£5million completely transformed
the facility by adding two swimming
pools, a modern fitness facility, a
café and more. This provides the
fantastic modern base from which
we now operate and which brings in
£3.2million annual revenue. In recent
times, Horfield has attracted further
private investment from Everyone
Active. In 2017 it added outdoor
pitches, top-of-the-range fitness
equipment and a new group exercise
studio. The centre now looks and feels
like a state-of-the-art facility, which
our local residents enjoy 7 days a week
for over 105 openinghours.
Community links
Our centre is an integral part of the
local community, providing space
for people to relax and unwind after
taking part in activities, as well as
modern, clean, friendly health and
fitness services. By being a part
of the community networks and
regularly contributing to community
development projects we are able to
identify not only what the users want
but also how to incentivise people
who are not active. Understanding
the barriers to participation is key
to developing the service choices
we offer to support the needs of
the community. This keen approach
to exploiting community links also
provides clear communication channels
with leaders in the area in all fields,
so that we can maximise their positive
contribution to the community
We boast an excellent “Active
Choices” GP referral programme
which has a fundamental part to
play in making sure our community
outcomes are effective. The ever-
growing programme of exercise
prescribed through referrals by health
organisations like GP surgeries has
fantastic health benefits to the local
population. By working closely with
Customers enjoying the wide
range of fun and exciting
One of the amazing 250+
group exercise classes
Our centre is an
integral part of
the local
providing space
for people to
relax and unwind
after taking part
in activities
the GP surgeries and other health
organisations, we understand the
specific health needs of the community
and act on them through individual
support and care. Our team is proud
to help a large volume of people
each year to change their lifestyle to
a more active and healthy one. By
supporting the NHS and other health
organisations in this way we are able
to save the public purse huge sums
of money by keeping people from all
walks of life healthy.
The culture in our team is one
of continuous improvement in
every aspect of what we do, from
the modern apprentices to the
management. By regularly assessing
ourselves and achieving high ratings
in our stringent external and internal
quality management audits, we
consistently develop an amazing
work force that is always striving to
positively affect customers’ health
needs. Over the years our centre and
our colleagues have achieved excellent
industry standards and the centre has
won many awards for its superior
service to the catchment it serves. It
was accredited by Quest (the UK’s
quality benchmarking scheme for
sports and leisure) as an “excellent”
facility in May this year, the highest
level in its assessment category.
Thisisas well as “Flame” Awards from
the national body representing leisure
centres, ISO accreditations, Investors
in People and National Fitness Awards
alongside many more.
Investing in the future
The development of our digital and
online services continues to be at
the forefront of our products and
services. With all basic areas now
being covered, like customers being
able to book and pay online, we
have now focused and invested
heavily in how we can deliver fitness
and health digitally. Customers can
now experience an online platform
that delivers a wide variety of
services, from access to hundreds
of bespoke personal online training
programmes to daily updates on
their children’s swimming progress in
their lessons. This area continues to
be invested in heavily and developed
further to support the needs of the
Everyone Active and Horfield Leisure
Centre are proud to be at the forefront
of the leisure industry and look
forward to continuing to improve the
health and fitness of the residents of
north Bristol.
By working
closely with the
GP surgeries
and other health
we understand
the specific
health needs of
the community
and act on them
support and
(Left) Impressive and fun
children’s swimming lessons
(Right) one of many football
teams enjoying the pitches


This article was sponsored by Horfield Leisure Centre. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister