Greenwich Leisure Limited
Fund manager - Rathbones
Greenwich Leisure Limited is more commonly known as Better and operates more than 270 leisure centres across the UK. It played a key role in bringing 2012 Olympic venues into use for the local community.
- 1500000 Yearly visitors to the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena
- 3500 Number of London Aquatics Centre members
- 2000 Number of Copper Box Arena members
Two-thirds of people currently don’t do weekly exercise, despite inactivity being linked to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. One key barrier to participating in sport is a lack of appropriate or accessible facilities that are affordable. Local councils all across the country, facing cuts in public spending, find it challenging to run existing leisure centres and develop new facilities. In London, the 2012 Olympic Games left a legacy of state-of-the-art facilities but an unclear future.
Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) – a Community Benefit Society – was founded in 1993 to provide a new model for running leisure centres, initially taking on Greenwich Councils facilities before expanding to deliver community services all around the UK.
In 2013, GLL raised a £5 million bond through the Rathbones Charity Bond Support Fund (a £163 million fund which Big Society Capital invested £30 million into) to transform London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena, and the Royal Greenwich Lido into accessible community facilities. The bond will be repaid through income generated by the venues including membership fees.
Around 1.5 million people visit the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena each year, some to watch sporting events but the vast majority to use the leisure facilities. Members of the local community can now train alongside world-class athletes, with a variety of membership options available, including discounted membership for people with disabilities and those who receive benefits. GLL also actively engages groups who historically don't take part in sport, including people on low incomes, people with disabilities, women and older people.