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10 Year Strategic Plan - Denbighshire Leisure Ltd

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In 2019, Just Solutions were contracted to develop a 10-year strategic plan for Denbighshire Leisure Ltd - a newly created, non-profit distributing company owned by Denbighshire County Council. It operates seven different community leisure centres as well as major, strategic leisure attractions, cultural and events venues, food and beverage offers alongside vital well-being, community arts and physical activity outreach services. 

Building on Expertise 

Just Solutions have been working with Jamie Groves, Managing Director of Denbighshire Leisure Ltd, since he took over as Head of Leisure for Denbighshire County Council some 10 years ago. Throughout this time, we have supported Jamie in developing a first-class leisure service, understanding client needs and building a mutual respect and positive relationships, as well as useful understanding of the area gaining a nuanced insight into the specific needs and goals of the service and local authority. 

Putting the Plan into Context 

This expertise proved vital to developing a plan that could deliver upon a complex range of needs. One key aim was to maintain the significant improvements made over the last decade, which were measured and analysed by Just Solutions in a prior Leisure Strategy Review. Furthermore, the plan needed to balance and deliver upon the principles of the Welsh Government's Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, the corporate priorities of Denbighshire County Council as well as the Arts Council of Wales, Sport Wales' transformation plan and proposed future regional delivery models, and, of course, the goals of Denbighshire Leisure Ltd. 

Thinking Long Term 

The headline outcomes of the plan developed were to improve health and wellbeing, create stronger and more prosperous communities, and to secure a successful business that could attain a sustainable future offer and maintain a high-quality infrastructure. 

This was an exciting opportunity for Just Solutions to build on a successful, long term partnering with Denbighshire County Council and Denbighshire Leisure Ltd. The resulting plan is ambitious but realistic, keeping in mind the needs of the client as well as the distinctive communities, from start to finish. 

Business Plan - Rhyl Community Association

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Rhyl Community Association (RCA) is a registered charity whose primary goal is to promote the welfare of those living in Rhyl. They currently own and operate two community centres, as well as managing a third. Just Solutions were engaged by RCA to create a business case and plan for the future for an upgraded and enhanced 'community facility' for Fforddlas, an existing community centre in the heart of a 'Communities First' area in South West Rhyl. 

Overcoming Obstacles 

The project faced a number of significant challenges, including: 

  • Increasing financial pressures 
  • Detorioration of existing buildings on the site 
  • Loss of much needed planned capital investment into Fforddlas 
  • Tenant relocation leading to an annual rent loss of £18,000 + 50% of running costs 
  • Changing environment - a number of other organisations and buildings in Rhyl now offering community rooms 

Just Solutions helped the Community Association to develop inventive solutions to these issues, such as selling another of their assets in order to free up £285,000 for investment into the Fforddlas Community Facility project. 

A Joined Up Approach 

Just Solutions helped RCA to ensure the project was sustainable and strategically valuable by developing a business plan that balanced the interests of a range of key collaborators, such as Denbighshire County Council members and other community organisations.

Key initiatives proposed included developing mutually complementary services with a nearby primary school and childcare centre, and providing a venue to be utilised by Denbighshire County Council 'Community Navigators' and 'Flying Start' organisers. 

These measures allowed RCA to establish a joined by approach, avoiding duplication and enhancing the project's impact by building on existing provision. 

£512,000 Funding Secured 

The business proposal and future plan created by Just Solutions informed 5 successful funding applications, totalling £512,00 secured in grants for the development of the Fforddlas community facility. Funding sources included the Welsh Government Community Facilities Fund and the Albert Gubay Foundation. 

Despite significant challenges facing the new development, Just Solutions were able to devlop a business plan that could deliver on Rhyl Community Association's goals whilst ensuring a joined up approach that complemented existing and planned projects within the community.

Funding Secured - FAW Trust and Wrexham County Borough Council

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£345,000 Funding Secured

As a result of Just Solutions' innovative work for FAW Trust in partnership with Wrexham County Borough Council, £345,000 grant funding was secured in 2018/19 for a grassroots facilities transformation project matched by the council's own investment. The funding came from a range of sources, including the Welsh Government, Sport Wales and the FAW Trust.

The partnership was built on the basis of a facilities vision and plan written by Just Solutions in 2016 and supported by an especially established steering group comprised of lead cabinet members and managers, and backed by the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council of the FAW Trust. 

Grassroots Advancements

The project is focussed on addressing gaps in existing provision as well as generating sustainable, long term benefits at the grasroots level. The proposed development addresses the facility issues facing clubs, helps clubs develop into stronger, more robust businesses by introducing new school/club hub facilities models and supports future grassroots facilities assets transfers. 

Nationwide Development 

These improvements to Wrexham's grassroots provision complement Just Solutions' previous work contributing to advances in the area on a national scale: 

  • In 2018/19, Just Solutions project managed the FAW Colliers Park National Football Development Centre in Wrexham, a world class facility which generated over £5m of investment into the area
  • In 2018, Just Solutions completed a feasibility study for the Welsh Government's Museums Division in 2018 which recommended the development of a National Welsh Football Museum in Wrexham - widely recognised as the spiritual home for Welsh Football. 

The success of these complementary projects evidences Just Solutions' ability to deliver results at both the local and national level.

Leisure Strategy Review

This is an image from this news item.Denbighshire County Council commissioned Just Solutions to undertake a review of the 2011 strategy and its impact, leading on to the development of a future strategy framework for the Council. The first stage was completed with a presentation prepared to be shared within the Council.

New National Centre Opened

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