New owners bring leisure centre back for community

The leisure centre at Beaconside in Stafford is to reopen to the public.

The New Beacon Group (NBG), who own the former university site, are installing new equipment in the gym and will carry out some refurbishment of the centre for a summer reopening.

The Group has been working with Stafford Borough Council to ensure community use of the facilities – and the latest move will also mean the continued use of the artificial pitch which was due to close later this year.

The gym at the ‘Beacon Sport and Fitness’ centre will run on a pay as you go basis throughout the day and it is expected a number of exercise classes will also be available.

NBG has already announced it will be building an international school and a specialist University on the 42 acre site which they expect to open next year. But they are also working on offering one-year foundation courses for international students from this September and the school aim to attract students from across the globe.

Dr Kai Liu, Chief Executive of NBG, said:

“This is such an exciting project for Stafford and we wanted to make sure that the community will benefit from our plans. That is why we will be opening up the sport and fitness centre on the site in the coming months which will be available to residents, and ensuring the artificial pitch remains in use.

“In the long term our vision is to bring students from all over the world to learn together in one dynamic site.”

Future progress is driven by plans to create a global educational hub that will bring the best of east and west together, integrating overseas students, British students and the local community. The NBG have laid out plans to develop two new educational institutions to further the legacy started by Staffordshire University. And they plan to continue business growth in this valuable part of Stafford, a town which is already experiencing considerable growth and investment.

Plans for an international school in 2018 will mean a review of the leisure centre schedule in the future – but the Group hope they will be able to continue to offer the facilities for community use.

Leader of the Borough Council, Patrick Farrington, praised the new owners for putting the community at the top of their agenda as part of the project.

“This is good news for residents. We have had very positive discussions with the New Beacon Group and they appreciate what it will mean for people in that part of town to have an accessible gym.

“The overall project is great news for our Borough and testament to the work that is being done by the Borough Council, and partners, in making sure our area is rightly seen as the place to invest in.”

More information about the international school from