Customer Statement from tmactive regarding Angel Centre

 

Following recent decisions taken by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, we have become aware of commentary, mainly on social media platforms regarding the future of the Angel Centre. Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust, trading as tmactive would like to confirm its current position on this matter by publication of the following statement. The Trust does not intend to enter the debate via social media.

The Trust is an independent charitable organisation that is a separate entity to Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council. The Trust operates the Council’s leisure facilities on a long term lease and management agreement. The Trust is a Non-Profit Distributing Organisation, meaning that any financial surpluses gained from its operation are reinvested into the facilities and services it manages. The Trust Board consists of local volunteers, has no shareholders and pays no dividends or bonuses to staff.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council has made an ‘in principle’ decision to build a replacement leisure and community facility elsewhere in the town followed by demolition of the existing Angel Centre. The Trust welcomes the Council’s commitment to investing in leisure facilities in Tonbridge and agrees that the current facilities in the Angel Centre are no longer fit for purpose. One of the clear advantages of a new build rather than remodelling the existing facility is the opportunity to avoid major disruption during any build phase and the ability to continue providing services and retain and ‘transfer’ customers on completion of the new build.

The Trust therefore welcomes the opportunity to see proposals for a new, state of the art carbon neutral facility to replace the Angel Centre and be consulted on where and what the proposals may include. The Council has advised that it will engage directly with the Trust over what a new facility may contain. Any proposals are expected to be subject to public consultation and the Trust is committed to ensuring the voice of its customers is heard.

The Trust also understands that an ‘in principle’ decision means, should no suitable alternative site be found the Council would revert to consideration of remodelling the existing facility.
The Trust’s Vision is ‘more people, more active, more often’ and recognises the impact on customers’ physical and mental health and wellbeing from the services it provides. The Trust also recognises the enormous social value sport, leisure and community activity provides to residents and visitors to the town.

The Trust continues to seek to deliver a range of leisure and community services based on expressed demand and will continue to accept bookings and promote leisure activities. The Trust’s primary concern is the impact of social media commentary on its staff and especially our valued and loyal customer base. In this respect, the Trust seeks to reassure customers that ‘normal service’ will continue whilst options are pursued. This view is supported by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, which has publicly committed to maintaining the existing facility while progressing its review of options. This can be demonstrated by the following commitments recently made by the Council and the Trust;

  • An order has been placed for replacement spin bikes at the Angel Centre.
  • New turnstiles have been installed in reception to aid customers and improve security.
  • The fitness equipment in the gym will be replaced in December.
  • The Trust has ordered a new, innovative Box Fit unit for the gym.
  • A strong capital renewals programme remains in place and will continue to ensure replacement of equipment, fixtures and fittings as and when required.

As the current leisure operator and based upon its successful track record the Trust anticipates being the operator of any new facilities that emerge. This will ensure the seamless transfer of customers into new facilities should this be the ultimate outcome.

The Trust will continue to engage proactively and transparently with the Council in the best interests of all its stakeholders and continue to provide updates when appropriate and available.

 

Martin Guyton, Chief Executive