SPORT and leisure facilities across the Rochford district will be under new management from July 1.

The move comes after sport and leisure management charity, Fusion Lifestyle, announced the acquisition of Virgin Active Management, who previously controlled the facilities.

Fusion will manage Clements Hall and Rayleigh Leisure Centres together with the Freight House, The Mills Arts and Events Centre and Castle Hall.

As part of the takeover Fusion, who currently operate more than 70 health and fitness clubs and sports centres across London and the South East, will introduce a range of new exercise classes and upgrade fitness equipment.

The council’s portfolio holder for community, councillor Jo McPherson said: “The Council is looking forward to building a strong working relationship with Fusion. “Fusion Lifestyle has a strong track record of managing Local Authority Leisure facilities and understand how important these facilities are to local people.“ Facilities will continue to operate as normal during the transition and Peter Kay, Fusion’s lifestyle chief executive, said because Fusion is a charity, they invest all resources back into the services.

He said: “We are delighted to be involved in managing the sport and leisure facilities in Rochford and we are looking forward to continuing to provide the very best services and facilities.”