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20 June 23
Wentworth Leisure Centre, which is operated and managed by Active Northumberland has been ranked one of the very best centres in the country in Sport England’s toughest quality assessment Quest.
The centre was rated as third nationally following the assessment - the best-known improvement programme within the leisure industry.
The scheme is designed to measure how effective leisure and sports facilities and organisations are at providing customer service - delving into how well a facility is operating. It looks at the operation of the business (such as maintenance, cleaning and health and safety) the people (such as customer experience and the team dynamics) and the purpose (such as how the facility plans to improve, and how it engages with the community surrounding it).
The assessment was made up of two parts. A mystery visit to the centre and a two-day assessment at the centre.
Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland said:
“We take part in Quest because it is an ongoing improvement programme that benefits our customers, staff, and partners. "
“The team at Wentworth have worked extremely hard to gain this nationally recognised accreditation, which demonstrates how committed we all are in providing a quality and valued service for our customers. “
“Out of the all the sites across the country that have undertaken the same assessment, Wentworth was ranking third which is a really fantastic achievement.”
Northumberland County Councillor Jeff Watson, cabinet member for healthy lives said:
“The rigorous assessments carried out through Quest challenge some of the best leisure centres in the UK and I am delighted the team at Active Northumberland have achieved such a great outcome.
“This is testament to the fantastic level of quality facilities and service the team consistently strive to deliver.”
The assessor noted that the Active Northumberland team were efficient, welcoming, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
The overall standards of cleanliness, housekeeping and maintenance throughout the facility during the unannounced visit were exemplary.
Also highlighted was the inclusive and accessible programme of activities such as walking football, walking netball, well-being walks, older generation activities, and the provision of accessible swimming.
Both the Active Northumberland website and app were thought to be informative and engaging.
The partnership work to tackle inequalities within the community, using the centre, its services and equipment was commended.
The assessor also reported that the corporate team were high performing and highly motivated and there was a commitment to engaging staff and training them to excel in customer service.