Long Stratton Leisure Centre, run by South Norfolk Council, underwent a major £2 million renovation in 2019 which saw the existing building redeveloped into a state-of-the-art facility, now on two levels, with improvements to the sports hall and changing rooms, along with a new 80-station gym featuring the latest equipment from Matrix Fitness, two multi-use fitness studios offering over 40 exercise classes a week, a spinning studio, GP referral services as well as a café and soft play area.
Daniel Infanti, General Manager at Long Stratton Leisure Centre comments: “As a council run gym, we recognised that we needed a facility that offered something to everyone, of all different abilities and fitness levels. It wasn’t just about modernising but about really considering the needs of our members and creating something that gave them the best experience possible.”
The original layout limited the gym to separate rooms for cardio and free weights, which created an inconvenient and intimidating space for members. South Norfolk Council enlisted the help of Matrix Fitness, collaborating with them on equipment and design, resulting in an accessible, first-class facility.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the support that Matrix Fitness gave us throughout this entire project. Not only did they advise us on the design, layout and equipment for the gym but they also set us up with a temporary gym facility whilst our refurbishment was being done, and due to the high standard of this we managed to grow our membership by 100 during that time.”
The new look included an open plan layout, a balance between the cardio area, free weights and functional training. This included the latest Matrix Fitness connected strength and cardio equipment, a Connexus rig, S-Drive Performance Trainer and a Double Mega Race.
“We have seen a massive uplift in membership since the renovation, we have not just retained our current members, but have enticed old members back and welcomed members from new markets.” Infanti adds. “We have had to double our class exercise timetable due to demand and the footfall has gone through the roof. We now see 15,000 people through our doors each month compared to 5,000 before the refurbishment.”
After the renovation, targets were to have 800 members by the end of March 2020, which was more than doubling the original membership figures. The team had already exceeded that target by November 2019, with membership now at over 920 and anticipating more to come in the New Year.
Tim Grainger-Smith, Head of Sales – Public Sector at Matrix Fitness comments: “This was a project not just about providing gym equipment, but about supporting a team through every stage, from start to finish, of an incredible renovation. We worked together to ensure that temporary facilities were in place whilst the refurbishment was taking place, to such a high standard that new members were even drawn to join during this time, and then focused on helping the team create an accessible, inviting and engaging training space for members of all abilities.”
“At Matrix Fitness, we like to take on partnerships, providing guidance and expertise in any aspect we can, from the initial design to the day the doors are open to the public. And it’s been fantastic to see the positive impact this renovation has already had on the members, staff and the wider community.”
South Norfolk Council hopes the refurbishment will help meet extra demand due to more than 1800 new homes planned for the area. The Leisure Centre follows a £700,000 new outdoor sports pitch with future plans to develop the swimming pool at the neighbouring high school.