EVERYBODY Sport and Recreation has had its contract to run leisure centres across East Cheshire extended until 2029.

Cheshire East Council is to extend the current contract for a further five years after a year of increased revenue, more customers and improved facilities.

This follows efficiencies worth £7 million in Everybody’s first four years of operation.

Everybody was set up in 2014 to run the borough’s leisure services, and has reduced its overheads, increasing leisure membership and footfall.

Attendance and leisure use have improved again, with an increase of eight per cent in visits in 2017/18 from 3.1 million to 3.3 million.

When attendance at Holmes Chapel Community Centre is taken into account the increase is 13 per cent.

Membership of leisure centres rose from 14,872 to 17,938 in the same year.

Leisure centres at Knutsford, Holmes Chapel, Wilmslow and Middlewich are among those run by Everybody, which also operates Holmes Chapel Community Centre.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw said: “We are extremely pleased with the performance of Everybody.

“The trust continues to improve on its targets, year on year, helping the council achieve a key objective – that people should live well and for longer.

“I am particularly pleased to see the take-up in the One You programme. This is about helping people to stay fit and healthy.

“The trust, through the Everybody Foundation, a registered grant-making charity, is also delivering very important work in our schools.

“This is a great success story for the council and the trust but, more importantly, for our residents too.”

Although the trust delivers the borough’s leisure services, the council is responsible for repairs and maintenance of buildings.

The year 2017/18 saw major improvements at facilities in Macclesfield, Sandbach, Nantwich, Wilmslow, Poynton and Knutsford, with Congleton and Alsager Leisure Centres next in line for investment.

Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council executive director of place, said: “By extending this contract now it will give the trust the confidence to invest further in the facilities and services being delivered.

“In turn, this will bring future benefits to the council, in terms of value for money through a reduced cost for the service, and for our residents, who will have access to a high-quality leisure provision across Cheshire East.”