Abbeycroft Leisure operates 12 leisure facilities across Suffolk and are now the largest not-for-profit provider of health and wellbeing services in the county. They provide everything from swimming pools to a Health and Wellbeing Centre and continue to provide a fantastic sports and physical activity development service. The organisation has grown since its formation in April 2005 through acquisitions and facility developments and now record 1.6 million visits from customers a year.
- Total contract value: up to £3.5m
- Commissioner: Parkside Federation of Academies
- Duration of contract: 7 years (with a provision for an extension to 10)
Abbeycroft has been seeking to diversify its income, but faced competition from well-resourced larger leisure providers including commercial firms. Abbeycroft therefore needed access to additional bid writing resource and expertise such as financial modelling, in order to increase their chances of securing contracts in a challenging market. This would also include help systematising their bidding process.
Eastside Primetimers was able to provide a bolt-on bid team for Abbeycroft, to boost their available capacity for the rigorous bidding process for public contracts. They drew upon a team of three consultants with finance, social impact and bid writing expertise. Support provided involved:
- A financial model to evaluate the risks/costs and benefits of bidding, helping them to focus resources on the best opportunities
- Recommendations on how to embed social impact in the organisation
- Theory of Change and a guide for staff to ensure a consistent approach to social impact across the organisation
- Production of bids in collaboration with their senior team
Following these new processes, Abbeycroft was able to bid for a new type of contract in a new geography, providing leisure services for an academy school in Cambridgeshire. This £3.5m contract opens up a new market and will diversify Abbeycroft’s income beyond its home local authority.