Belfast leisure centres revamp leads to creation of 75 jobs

Announcing 75 new jobs for Belfast are GLL regional director Gareth Kirk and Council chief executive Suzanne Wylie with Devon Small from GLL
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE London-headquartered social enterprise which is in the process of modernising leisure facilities across Belfast is creating 75 jobs at three new centres opening in the city this year and next.

GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd), which runs 250 sport and leisure facilities and libraries on behalf of local authorities across the UK, is creating the roles as part of Belfast City Council's ongoing £105m transformation of leisure services in the city.

That will include Andersonstown leisure centre, Brook activity centre and Lisnasharragh leisure centre (on the site of the former Robinson Centre in Dundonald) open with new cutting edge facilities and services.

GLL - which has more than 13,500 staff and revenues of close to £300 million - manages 14 leisure centres in partnership with Belfast City Council under the ‘Better' brand.

It is creating the jobs as part of Council's ongoing £105m transformation of leisure services in the city.

GLL will also create 100 new casual/seasonal roles which will include a mix of gymnastics coaches, swimming coaches, fitness coaches, lifeguards and summer scheme staff. The recruitment process begins this month.

Belfast City Council chief executive Suzanne Wylie said: “Evidence clearly shows the importance of good and accessible leisure services for both mental and physical health. The creation of 75 jobs by our strategic partner GLL is part and parcel of our transformation of leisure services in Belfast.

“Our aim is to provide innovative leisure facilities across the city through a significant capital investment programme. In total we will invest £105 million in seven new facilities, each with its own unique selling point, so that we minimise duplication and ensure balanced, value for money investment. Olympia is the first example of the state-of-the-art standard we are aiming for.

“This supports the ambitions of the Belfast Agenda, the community plan for the city, by improving neighbourhoods, reducing life inequalities, providing fit-for-purpose services and enabling active and healthy citizens.”

GLL's Northern Ireland regional director Gareth Kirk said: “As a strategic partner of Belfast City Council, we are committed to contributing to the Belfast Agenda. An important part of that involves getting more people in the city, more active, more often. The creation of these jobs will be really important in helping us to promote better health and wellbeing to more people across the city.”

“Investment in health and wellbeing is a vital component of the development of any modern city. Working closely with Belfast City Council and other key strategic stakeholders we are excited to be a part of the contribution to improved physical and mental health.”

He added: “GLL is committed to its workforce and our people are our greatest asset. Part of that commitment means providing existing staff with the opportunity to develop their skills and pursue rewarding careers with us, with over 50 internal promotions delivered in the last three years.

“There is a huge range of rewarding careers in GLL and really exciting opportunities for staff to develop and progress.”

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