Aligned Leisure will operate the Nillumbik Shire Council’s five sport and recreation facilities for at least the next three years.

The Council made the announcement yesterday that Aligned Leisure had won an exhaustive tender process that will centralise management of all its facilities with one operator.

Aligned Leisure – the health and recreation business established by the Richmond Football Club – has managed the Council’s Eltham Leisure Centre since 2017.  

The three-year agreement has options that could extend management of the facilities to 12 years.

Aligned Leisure will operate Community Bank Stadium, Diamond Creek Outdoor Pool, Diamond Creek Community Centre, Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre as well as the Eltham Leisure Centre.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said the announcement would ensure better health and recreation outcomes for the local community.

“The most important thing is that the local community is well serviced and connected to these facilities – bringing the five venues together under one operation will allow Aligned Leisure to deliver first-class programming and efficiencies across all these sites,” Gale said.

“This announcement builds on the great work the Aligned Leisure team has done managing the Eltham Leisure Centre over the past three years. We thank the Council for recognising our capacity to deliver great outcomes for the local community.

“We will now work on delivering a seamless transition for the local community and identifying opportunities for existing staff to retain employment. Once we are through this current business interruption, we are looking forward to local residents flocking back to these facilities.”

Gale said the announcement further vindicated the strategic decision Richmond took in 2015 to diversify its revenue streams and reduce its reliance on football-generated revenue.

The Club established the Aligned Leisure business in 2016.

It now manages 26 facilities across Nillumbik Shire Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Albury City, Wodonga City Council, Mildura Rural City Council and Caulfield Grammar School.

“The Club took a strategic decision to diversify revenue streams that align with the core business of football – health and wellbeing is at the heart of what we do and Aligned Leisure is a now a critical part of our business mix,” Gale said.

“Now more than ever this subsidiary business is critical to our long-term future. I would like to congratulate Aligned Leisure CEO Shane Dunne and his team for the wonderful work they have done in delivering excellent outcomes for local communities. I know they are committed to continuing to do so into the future.”

Nillumbik Shire Council mayor Karen Egan said Aligned Leisure was an outstanding leisure service provider and would provide excellent management of the Council’s five centres.

“It will be business as usual for members and visitors. We anticipate many benefits for centre members including reciprocal usage rights across the five centres,” Cr Egan said.

“And the appointment of one operator to manage our five leisure centres will result in better connected services and cost savings for Council and ratepayers.”