THIS May, Cheshire West and Chester leisure provider Brio Leisure is celebrating its 10th birthday.

Brio Leisure runs leisure sites Northgate Arena, Ellesmere Port Sports Village, Northwich Memorial Court, Neston Recreation Centre, Winsford Lifestyle Centre, Frodsham Leisure Centre and Christleton Sports Centre, as well as entertainment venues Northwich Memorial Court and Ellesmere Port Civic Hall. The company employ around 600 staff across the borough.

The past 10 years have seen Brio Leisure participate in and host a number of events, as well as winning prestigious awards.

In 2019, Brio Leisure was awarded ukactive’s Organisation of the Year and was also in the London Stock Exchange 1000 best companies to inspire Britain.

The company has also featured in the Parliamentary Review, and this year was in The Leaders Council report on returning business and lessons learnt during Covid.

The 10-year anniversary of the company launch has been a great opportunity to reminisce and celebrate the successes of Brio and the exceptional hard work of all the staff.

Brio Leisure is wholly owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council and has worked collaboratively with them over the years.

Ian Ashworth, Director of Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "We're very proud of everything Brio has achieved in the last 10 years.

"Our centres and services have been at the heart of our local communities, playing a vital role during the pandemic with virtual services to keep people fit and active throughout what has been a really challenging period for many, many people.

"Brio centres were at the heart of the emergency Covid response, acting as hubs for co-ordinating the supply of food and essentials and a base for the distribution of much-needed PPE.

"Subsequently, Brio centres and staff along with our voluntary and community sector partners, have been vital to the highly successful rollout of the council’s testing and vaccination plan across the borough.

"This has been an incredible undertaking and one that demonstrates Brio’s ability to be flexible and responsive as an organisation and as a delivery partner."

Over time, Brio has become involved in many borough events and activities, such as a sponsor and supporter of Chester Pride and Northwich Thundersprint, as well as Race for Life and the carrying of the Paralympic Torch.

Celebrations have continued at Brio Leisure during the past 10 years with new site openings including Ellesmere Port Sports Village and Northwich Memorial Court in 2015 and the Neston Recreation Centre refurbishment in 2018.

Brio centres offer a variety of impressive activities ranging from swim to gym and fitness classes.

Managing director Elly McFahn said: "I am proud to have been a part of Brio since the day the company was first launched on May 3, 2011, and indeed part of the journey to establish it at the outset.

"Brio was the first leisure Community Interest Company in the UK, which just goes to show the importance of the local offer for borough residents and communities.

"Over time, we have moved increasingly towards an enhanced health and wellbeing purpose, and this last year throughout Covid has shown just how important the things we offer are to underpin so many emergent challenges.

"Brio will continue to develop the good work it has done to date, and in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, we will adapt and offer supported solutions for many years to come."

Brio Leisure also has a sub-brand of entertainment which operates at Northwich Memorial Court and Ellesmere Port Civic Hall.

In 2018, Memorial Court hosted The Charlatans’ homecoming gig to Northwich as part of the North by Northwich festival. The band played four nights at the venue that May.

The company is looking ahead to the future, particularly as lockdown gets lifted and they have been welcoming customers back into their centres.

Nothing has stopped still over the last year, and continued improvements to the asset portfolio have been under way, with Northgate Arena having also just completed phase one of the refurbishment work, which includes impressive digital equipment, improved entrance to the building and a new café.

This year, Brio Leisure has also secured a decarbonisation investment from the council which will provide greener heating and energy across their centres.

Mr Ashworth added: “Looking ahead, the next 10 years will see the council invest £14m in transforming Brio services. These exciting plans involve Brio continuing to work closely with local communities to develop services tailored to the needs of local people and creating opportunities to provide targeted services to improve health and well-being.

“Brio will continue to deliver services in innovative and flexible ways, making best use of existing community facilities and partner networks as well as utilising green spaces and outdoor facilities.”

Starting from May, Brio Leisure is celebrating its birthday with throwback pictures, staff memories and competitions across its social media sites. Customers can get involved with the #10YearsofBrio hashtag.