Gloucester's GL1 Leisure Centre reopens with £1 sports sessions

To celebrate the reopening of GL1 in Gloucester, each weekend in the run up to Christmas, a swimming session, exercise class or game of badminton or squash costs just £1 per person, per activity.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Enjoy a swim, take on an exercise class or have a game of badminton or squash with friends and family at GL1 for just £1 per person, per activity at the weekend.

Exercise is firmly back on the agenda at Gloucester's GL1 Leisure Centre thanks to new provider Freedom Leisure.

And the new leisure facilities charity comes bearing early Christmas presents with weekend exercise sessions costing just £1 per person, per activity each weekend up until Sunday 17 December 2023.

Families can enjoy a swim, exercise class or game of badminton or squash and there's no need to book either — just turn up and you can pay with cash or card.

After Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust announced it could no longer operate in September 2023, Gloucester City CouncilActive Gloucestershire and local sports clubs and community groups sprung into action to bring services back as quickly as possible.

Freedom Leisure, which operates leisure services across Gloucestershire, including centres in Cinderford, Lydney, Newent and Bourton-on-the-Water, was appointed as interim provider within just 10 days.

Around 80 members of staff from Aspire got their old jobs back and more roles are likely to be created as Freedom Leisure opens up more facilities.

At the moment, group exercise classes, public family swim sessions, lane swimming, badminton and indoor football are available at GL1, with more activities set to be added to the calendar in coming weeks.

Chief executive at Active Gloucestershire, Tom Beasley, said: 'We are so thrilled that GL1 Leisure Centre has reopened, and so quickly.

'It is down to the hard work of Gloucester City Council that made this possible and we are excited to see what opportunities Freedom Leisure, the new GL1 leisure provider has to offer.  

'GL1 is such a fundamental space for people in Gloucester to get active, supporting the physical, mental and social health of residents. The leisure centre offers many different activities for all ages and abilities and it is great to see Freedom Leisure providing these activities already, as well as offering roles to previous GL1 employees.'

GL1 has also welcomed back the Gloucester City Swimming Club that has been based at the site since 1910 and coaches more than 100 young people and children.

Karl Allen, Freedom Leisure’s area manager in Gloucester, is delighted to reopen the centres and welcome visitors once again.

He said: 'It's been amazing to see so many people returning to GL1 and Oxstalls. I’d like to praise every single member of the team who has worked tirelessly to get the centres ready. It is a magnificent team effort that, judging by the number of people returning, has been gratefully received by the people of Gloucester.

'We had swimmers in the pool from 8am and customers in our first boot camp class at 9am. We also had a customer return later in the morning to present our colleagues with a bunch of flowers to thank them. This demonstrates the strength of feeling and shows that people are genuinely very grateful that, thanks to Gloucester City Council and Freedom Leisure, we are back open again.'

To keep up-to-date with the latest classes and activities visit,

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