Double award success for Lancaster’s Salt Ayre Leisure Centre

Salt Ayre's catering team, Claire Glover, Sue Mattinson, Chantelle Taylor, Nicky Naylor and Ryan Inglis.
Salt Ayre's catering team, Claire Glover, Sue Mattinson, Chantelle Taylor, Nicky Naylor and Ryan Inglis.

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre has continued along the winning trail with two more awards added to the trophy cabinet.

First up was the catering team, who picked up gold in the leisure facility of the year category at the Sports and Leisure Catering awards.

The APSE Award went to Claudia Russell, Stuart Glover, Molly Balderson and Callum Don.

The APSE Award went to Claudia Russell, Stuart Glover, Molly Balderson and Callum Don.

It puts the venue in the same bracket as such luminaries as Wimbledon and Wembley stadium, who also picked up award nods at the ceremony last Wednesday.

The following day, the centre came out top in the sports, leisure and cultural service category at the annual APSE (Association of Public Service Excellence) awards.

Both awards crown a dizzying few years for Salt Ayre.

Starting in 2016, the centre has undergone a complete transformation with a £5m refurbishment, creating spectacular new facilities, which in turn has increased the number of customers and income.

This approach has seen Salt Ayre become serial award winners.

Coun Jean Parr, Cabinet member with responsibility for sports, leisure and tourism, said: “I firmly believe that Salt Ayre is one of the best leisure centres in the UK and this national award reinforces that view! Everyone involved should be hugely proud of what they have helped the council to deliver – it is truly a leisure destination that has something for the entire community to come along and enjoy.”

Three other council services were finalists in the Apse awards, which recognise excellence in public services.

The Council Housing team was recognised in the best innovation or demand management initiative category, recognising the way the council has developed its income management service following the roll out of Universal Credit back in 2016/17.

Teams delivering the council’s catering at a number of its commercial properties were also recognised for the best service team. This nomination recognised the teams responsible for the delivery of catering at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre’s Refuel café, Printroom Café and Bar at The Storey, Williamson Park’s Pavilion Café and the hospitality offer at the Platform in Morecambe.

The council’s Home Improvement Agency was also a finalist, in the best health and wellbeing initiative category.

Speaking about the awards, the APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien said, “Not only do these awards recognise and promote individual achievement, they also provide an opportunity for best practice to be shared with other local authorities and organisations. In this way, councils’ hard work and dedication is used to deliver vital services to communities across the UK.”