Blake Morgan helps secure new leisure service operator for Test Valley

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Test Valley's 18-month hunt for a partner to design, build and operate its leisure facilities has resulted in the appointment of Places for People Leisure Management Ltd. Leading law firm Blake Morgan supported Test Valley Borough Council during the procurement process.

The 30-year contract, which commenced 1 April 2017, is set to see large-scale investment and improvement for the council's five sites.

Places for People Leisure currently partners 35 local authorities, managing 112 leisure centres across England. As the winning bidder, the company has ambitious plans to create a new Andover Leisure Centre that will feature a 165-station fitness suite and 25m swimming pool among other facilities.

Extensive refurbishment work planned also includes new state-of-the-art fitness suites at Romsey Rapids and Knightwood Leisure Centre.

Throughout this project, Blake Morgan's Local Authority team has provided extensive support and guidance to ensure that the procurement process met with Test Valley's long-term vision for enhanced leisure facilities for the community.

Blake Morgan's experience of Design, Build, Operate and Maintain contracts and the team’s ability to revise a Sport England template to suit the client's plans were a distinct advantage.

The team worked in partnership with the council's in-house legal team on all of the procurement and contractual documentation and through all stages to appointment of the successful contractor. The firm's multidisciplinary offering meant that the team was able to respond quickly and effectively at each stage of the procurement, including some intense activity to ensure that the services could transfer to the contractor smoothly.

As well as commercial and projects support, Blake Morgan also provided construction, property, employment, pensions and procurement advice.

Penny Rinta-Suksi, Partner and Head of Local Authorities England, said: "We are delighted to have assisted Test Valley in achieving this result. The scale of their ambition has been realised in their appointment of Places for People Leisure, and represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance.

“Test Valley Borough Council is intent on securing leading leisure facilities for its citizens, whilst ensuring good value for money and we enjoyed working with the Council and their senior project team."