University of Gloucestershire appoints new operator for Oxstalls sports facilities

Freedom Leisure, which recently took over management of Gloucester's GL1 Leisure Centre, is expanding its presence in Gloucestershire as it partners with the University of Gloucestershire to run Oxstalls Sports Arena.

By Kaleigh Pritchard  |  Published
Freedom Leisure announces partnership with the University of Gloucestershire, as it becomes the new operations manager of Oxstalls Sports Arena in Gloucester.

Oxstalls Sports Arena is now under the management of Freedom Leisure, the not-for-profit trust that took over Gloucester's GL1 in November 2023, allowing it to reopen after its previous facilitator went into liquidation.

Previously managed by the University of Gloucestershire, Oxstalls Sports Arena will now be operated by Freedom Leisure as part of its expanding Gloucestershire portfolio.

The trust will oversee the daily running of the centre and promote community use of the facilities, outside of regular use by university students.

Well-loved by the local community, Oxstalls Sports Arena provides an array of sporting opportunities to get residents active, including a 12-court sports hall for team and racket sports; dedicated football and rugby pitches; with additional meeting spaces, too.

Director of sport and wellbeing at the University of Gloucestershire, Matt Tansley said: 'We know sports activities play an important role in supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of our students, staff and the local community, so we look forward to working with Freedom Leisure in continuing to provide access to high-class facilities that everyone is able to benefit from and enjoy.'

Business development director at Freedom Leisure, Mark Learnihan added: 'We see this new partnership with the University of Gloucestershire as a pivotal moment as we seek to increase participation in physical health and wellbeing across Gloucester.

'The facilities at the arena are fantastic and making them available for community use shows that collaboration and partnership is key to moving physical activity and participation forward across the city.

'We look forward to working on a number of exciting projects with the university in 2024 and beyond. One of these will see Freedom Leisure working with the University on employment and development pathways for students to work at the facilities across Gloucester and further afield in the Forest of Dean, Malvern Hills and the Cotswolds.'

Freedom Leisure manages more than 120 facilities across England and Wales, including leisure centres in Cinderford and Lydney in the Forest of Dean, Cirencester and Newent — and continues to act as interim operator at GL1 in Gloucester. 

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