Although the specific circumstances surrounding the origins of the trust are naturally unique, a history of pragmatic financial management and a policy of re-investment in facilities is a transferable principle for the sustainability of any asset transfer of a community sports facility. Scheduled refurbishment works to the playing surfaces of pitches and large sections of the climbing wall are vital elements of meeting the demands of the trusts' customers.
As John O'Brien, sport and fitness director at the trust, explains: "The trust learnt very quickly that well-used facilities can become very tatty, very quickly. We used the published industry standards for the life-span of materials but found that going and seeing similar operations elsewhere in the country gave us a much better idea of typical wear and tear.
"From that benchmark we've built up historic cost models with suitable inflation measures for sub-elements, which are under periodic review in response to fluctuations in price."
The trust has also developed a pragmatic, but realistic, approach to its facilities management. After large scale contractor arrangements did not bring the promised economies of their scale, the trust now uses the services of a smaller local provider combined with a policy of training duty managers in day-to-day preventative maintenance and minor repair tasks.
"Our new contractor is smaller, but locally based and more responsive," says John. "The relationship is more of a partnership. They give us health and safety credibility and, combined with using committed staff as our eyes and ears on the ground, many issues can be tackled relatively cheaply before they become critical."
Kensington and Chelsea is the fourth most densely populated borough in London
Other contractor and supplier arrangements are also under constant review to maximise their efficiency and effectiveness. Cleaning is currently outsourced, (with a condition that the supplier pays the 'living wage' of £10.55), and a longstanding catering franchise has proven better value than in-house efforts.
A specialist climbing kit retailer rents a unit from the trust, which provides a consistent income stream and provides customers with a more specialised service than the trust itself could provide. And, as a result of a recent partnership with a new enterprise, customers can now enjoy the experience of 'endless pools', which use a flow of water to swim against.
Although the trust has won national awards for its approach and is often cited as an example for others to replicate, with mainstream fitness club competition the trust has to continually look at forging innovative partnerships and providing distinctive programmes.
"We need to take another big step to stay ahead", says John. "Being known for GP referrals isn't enough. We're now planning a more holistic wellbeing offer that will positively affect the health of a critical mass of the local population. This will be attractive to the NHS as well as trusts and foundations whose priorities also include youth and education."
This ambition will also entail a big investment in upskilling the trust's staff, so that more of them will have a broader knowledge of the health benefits of exercise.
The continuous development of staff is seen as a critical success fact for the trust. Enthusiastic staff who have sympathy for the area and the community they serve bring an extra level of commitment to their roles.