Active Community Engagement Ltd

An example of management by a specialist community use provider ACE is dedicated to developing and managing community and sports use within schools

ACE currently operates facilities across 5 local authority areas and the approach adopted will depend on the individual school, their vision, facilities and aspiration.

One of the key driving principles of ACE is to be realistic about likely income levels and they only put in place management systems that can be paid for through income. The core business model is based around block bookings, which guarantees these income levels and also reduces operational costs. Schools benefit from having the leisure expertise provided but at low or no cost to the school.

As set out no two partnerships are the same but two examples of the innovative approaches taken are set out below.

Innovative approach

Whitecross High School, Hereford. This is a PFI school who were struggling to make ends meet. Through the PFI facilities manager ACE now provide the leisure management input. For a fixed fee paid by the PFI provider to ACE, ACE is responsible for all bookings and enquiries. All activity is pre-booked so there is no need for reception or on site staff.

Everything is managed through the ACE central office, who constantly keep in touch with the on-site caretaker who is responsible for locking and unlocking the building and equipment based on the programme for the day. Operated in this way enables a good level of community use, which may not be deliverable through more conventional approaches. ACE has the systems and experience to be able to deliver cost effectively.

ACE also operates 4 BSF facilities in Bristol again on behalf of the PFI operator. Across 4 sites ACE employ 68 staff to physically manage the centres. Again everything is managed from a central point and the staff on the ground (community coordinators or letting attendants) are kept in touch through iphones and web diary systems, which are operated ‘live’.

Contact details

Tel: 0845 643 0717

School Profile

Numbers: A private sector provider working across five local authorities including PFI schools in Bristol Management Model: Third party management by commercial provider

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