GLL to operate Lee Valley sports venues

Charitable social enterprise GLL has agreed a 10-year deal with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority to operate and manage its sporting venues, a number of which were used during London’s staging of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

GLL is the UK’s largest operator of leisure and sports facilities, and from April 1 will take on responsibility for Lee Valley VeloPark, Lee Valley White Water Centre, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Lee Valley Athletics Centre and Lee Valley Riding Centre.

The contract also includes the new £30m (€35.8m/$39.4m) Lee Valley Ice Centre, which is due to open in November.

GLL has a wealth of experience managing elite sporting facilities including London 2012 legacy venues the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as well as Manchester’s Aquatics Centre and HSBC UK National Cycling Centre on behalf of Manchester City Council.

Lee Valley VeloPark is this year due to host cycling events for Birmingham’s staging of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, while Lee Valley White Water Centre will host the 2023 ICF Canoe World Slalom Championships.

Peter Bundey, chief executive designate at GLL, said: “Lee Valley’s sporting venues are widely recognised as being best in class, we are excited to be working with the Park Authority and its teams of expert venue managers and staff, as we take on this new role.

“We will work closely with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority to further develop the existing facilities, undertake innovative investments, maximise participation and continue to improve the quality of life for local communities and the wider region.

“We are committed to ensuring a long and sustainable future for all the facilities, while also recognising the importance of the Park’s heritage.”

As part of the agreement, approximately 100 permanent and 150 flexible staff will transfer across to GLL as part of the new contract with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

Shaun Dawson, chief executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, added: “This exciting new chapter cements the future of our six key sports venues and is part of our commitment to the many communities we serve far and wide.

“We have carefully structured this partnership with GLL to ensure that visitors will continue to enjoy the very best in these stellar, highly popular venues. We look forward to together creating exciting new programmes and activities that draw on the strengths of both organisations.

“These venues are part of the Lee Valley visitor experience and will continue to be so with some of the best facilities and most inspiring settings to be found anywhere. As part of the partnership Lee Valley Regional Park Authority will continue to invest to ensure that they go from strength to strength, delivering real impact for communities.”

Image: Lee Valley Regional Park Authority