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27 Nov 2018

Leisure trust Life Leisure makes move into facility ownership
BY Tom Walker

The Stockport Sports Village features features a 5,000sq ft health club

The Stockport Sports Village features features a 5,000sq ft health club

Life Leisure has become a facility owner after acquiring the Stockport Sports Village (SSV).

The charitable trust – which manages sports and leisure facilities in the North West of England – purchased the 23-acre site and is the company’s first venture into land ownership.

While no details were released on the purchase price, the deal is thought to reflect a rent vs mortgage differential of around £14m for the trust.

Life Leisure first took over management of the site – which features a 5,000sq ft health club, 17 3G football pitches and tennis courts – in 2012.

According to Malcolm McPhail, Life Leisure CEO, the purchase of SSV marks the start of a new era for the organisation.

“As a leisure trust, we face unprecedented competitive pressure at all levels, from major private chains and boutique gyms, through to budget operators," McPhail said.

"It’s a market environment which means you have to believe in and commit to every single business decision wholeheartedly – buying SSV is the perfect example of this.

“It’s unusual for a trust, let alone a trust of our size, to be in a position to buy such a major asset but we could see SSV’s potential and its importance to Stockport from the outset."

The acquisition follows a period of growth for Life Leisure. Over the past five years, the trust has achieved a 45 per cent growth in turnover.



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