CHESTER’S Northgate Arena has been named the best leisure centre in the country at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Service Awards 2007.
The Arena, managed by the Chester and District Sports and Recreation Trust (CADSART), scooped the Sport and Leisure Facility Management Best Performer Award beating off fierce competition from other local authority leisure centres across the UK.
The event prompted a double celebration with Northgate’s sister centre, the Christleton Sports Centre, a runner up in the award for The Most Improved Performer of the Year.
CADSART, a non-profit making charitable trust, was the only entrant in England, Scotland and Wales to have centres short-listed in both categories.
For leisure centres to even make the finals they had to demonstrate outstanding performance and excellence in offering the community superb facilities that were also value for money.
The annual awards, hosted by ex-Blue Peter presenter Diana Louise Jordan, attracted more than 450 entries from local council services.
Arena manager Arthur Jones said: “It’s a tremendous achievement and the team are delighted. The judges looked at every aspect of how the Northgate was being operated, from how we maintained levels of quality to who was using the facilities and whether they were getting the best possible service for their money.
“To be named as the best overall was a real honour and is testament to the professionalism and dedication of our staff.”