Scooping top fitness industry award

Littledown, one of the region’s busiest leisure centres, has been crowned Local Authority/Leisure Trust Gym of the Year at the 2016 National Fitness Awards.

The centre is managed by social enterprise BH Live in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council.

More than 1.1 million visits into the centre are made each year from people participating in a range of activities and sports including swimming, football, group exercise classes, gym sessions, courses, martial arts and trampolining. The centre is set in 47 acres of parkland and is also home to a high ropes adventure leisure attraction and children’s play park.

BH Live snapped up the prestigious fitness industry award and is celebrating its contribution to getting more people of all ages and abilities more active through improved services and activities.

“This is a fantastic achievement – and we were up against some very stiff competition, says Mike Lyons, BH Live’s Director of Leisure Facilities. “We have a great team who are passionate about making Littledown a great place for everyone to get more active. Together with Bournemouth Borough Council, we are creating some of the UK’s finest facilities.”

Littledown recently underwent a £1.7m transformation project, in partnership with the council to improve and extend its facilities. In addition new gym equipment, fitness studios, class programming, multi-site memberships and activities targeting specific age groups and health conditions have significantly boosted community participation.

Organised by Script Events and leading industry publication Workout, with support from headline sponsor ServiceSport, the National Fitness Awards are now in their seventh year and recognise excellence and achievement in all corners of the industry.

To scoop the trophy, BH Live went through a rigorous assessment process, which involved a site visit from the Workout team who explored the facility, chatted to members and employees and examined all areas of the business from member retention to customer service.

The expert judging panel also included top personal trainer Richard Callender and award winning gym owner Steve Johnson.

National Fitness Awards’ director Judith Halkerston said, “This year’s winners should be very very proud – the high standard of entries made it a tough job to select a final shortlist never mind a winner and runner-up in each category.

“Our awards’ night was a great celebration of the fitness industry as a whole and it was great to see so many gyms represented at the event. It was a wonderful evening and it was lovely to share in the celebrations of the winners.”

Awards were handed out in over 20 categories at a glittering ceremony at The Athena in Leicester, attended by over 850 people and hosted by boxing legend Ricky Hatton and award winning personal trainer and TV personality Katie Bulmer-Cooke.

Find out more about BH Live and Littledown at


For more information about BH Live please contact:

Elizabeth Symmons, PR & Corporate Communications Executive E: T: (01202) 055562

About Littledown

Littledown is managed and operated by BH Live in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council.

Set in 47 acres of parkland, Littledown has some of the finest leisure, swimming, football and gym facilities in the country.

Accredited by quality scheme QUEST and Sport England, Littledown is ranked among the top performing leisure centres in the UK.

The centre is also home to clubs including Bournemouth Swimming Academy, Swim Bournemouth, Littledown Juniors Football Club and Play Football leagues, and attracts more than 1.1 million visits each year.

It provides nearly 300 weekly fitness classes, has one of the largest gyms in the UK with personal training, an exercise referral and children’s activity programme. The BH Live Active team also works with local health authorities, trusts, education providers and organisations to encourage greater participation in physical activity.

Indoor facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, 17-metre teaching pool, waterslides, splash pool, spa, steam rooms, sauna and sanarium. There is a large sports hall for events and multi-sports including trampolining, badminton, table tennis, football and gymnastics.

The centre also has on-site catering and an Ofsted registered crèche.

Outdoor facilities include the leisure attraction, ALTITUDE High Ropes Adventure at Littledown Park, six floodlit 3G rubber crumb training pitches, grass football pitches, parkland for recreation and events, a cricket pitch and pavilion, lake, paddling pool, children’s playground, outdoor catering outlets, leisure orienteering course and parking.

ALTITUDE has a 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

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About BH Live

BH Live is the South Coast’s leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

With more than three million visits a year and over £36.5 million turnover, the organisation is changing lives – placing it at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy.

In 2015/16 BH Live hosted more than 500 events, sold over half a million cultural, sporting and entertainment tickets. They welcomed 2.4 million active participants into its leisure centres and 118,000 conference and exhibition delegates into its venues. This contributed an estimated £66.3 million to the local economy through business and cultural tourism.

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