Report on Kettering Leisure Village to be discussed by North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive

Leisure and sports

11 April 2024

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The long-term future of Kettering Leisure Village will be discussed at a meeting of North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive next week.

A report will examine the current situation with the running of the valued community asset.

The paper outlines the complicated leasing arrangements for the facility, which was built in 1991.

Following discussions between the Council and Phoenix Leisure Management, an agreement was reached on 28 June 2023 that Phoenix Leisure Management would take over operations from September 4, 2023 from Compass (Kettering Leisure Village).

Since then, Phoenix have continued to successfully operate the complex, with sports and leisure activities on offer as well as the arena hosting a number of high-profile events, including performances and shows at The Lighthouse Theatre.

The operational running of Kettering Leisure Village is out of the control of the Council. However, the report explores options for the Council should it ever need to consider stepping-in. This can only happen if the Council was to gain full control of the site. The report follows on from a motion which was approved by Full Council in June 2023. The motion asked that a business and legal case be put together which considered the viability of the Council stepping in to run the site - should the need arise.

The report acknowledges that the Council will continue to work with Phoenix Leisure Management to support the ongoing business growth and development of future plans. 

Currently North Northamptonshire Council has no legal right to step in and run the site. The Council is however happy with how the site is being run and officers will continue to work with Phoenix Leisure Management. Whilst this review considers all future options for the site, none are within the gift of the Council. As part of the process, the Council must also consider what is best value should it need to take on the site - something that is not currently possible (or needed) due to the nature of its legal interest.

This is a very positive report which shows all the hard work that is taking place to safeguard the long-term future of this very significant asset for Kettering as well as the wider North Northamptonshire area. 

Conversations with Phoenix Leisure Management are extremely positive and although it is not financially viable or legally possible for the Council to operate the site, it is considered commercially viable for Phoenix Leisure Management to continue to develop the site. We will continue to work with Phoenix to secure the future of this facility, which goes to show our commitment to keeping the complex running. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage residents to support the facility - watch a show at the theatre, join the gym or book one of the spaces. The facilities are truly fantastic, but sites like this rely on repeat and regular customers.
Cllr Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of North Northamptonshire Council and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism
I’m delighted that the deal which we helped broker last summer has so far proved to be a tremendous success and I’m pleased with the progress that has been made in the past few months.

Kettering Leisure Village is a treasured asset in our area and it’s essential that it continues to thrive.
Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council