Insourcing the council's leisure service

In August 2022, Cabinet approved plans to bring the management of seven leisure centres in-house when the current contract with leisure provider GLL expires in April 2024.

The seven leisure centres are:

Insourcing the service presents an exciting opportunity to create facilities and a programme of activity that meets the needs and health and wellbeing of our residents. 

Be Well

The new service, Be Well, will provide leisure services to support residents’ journeys to healthier lifestyles through three pillars: health, wellness and play.

  • Health: Providing excellent services to enable healthy lifestyles.
  • Wellness: Removing barriers to create inclusive and accessible environments.
  • Play: Supporting local groups and clubs to bring communities together. 

Be Well will place focus on a holistic view of health and wellbeing to improve physical and mental health, increase the participation of residents with a focus on women and girls and older adults, and provide services that are more inclusive and easier to access, to reduce health inequalities.

For more information, please visit the Be Well website. 

St George’s

As part of the council’s investment in leisure, plans for a new leisure centre on the St George’s site are also underway. The scheme, set to be completed in 2026, will provide more and better quality facilities for residents.

This along with new housing will contribute to the Mayor’s target of providing 1,000 social homes a year across the borough.

Find out more about St George's.

Have your say

There will be opportunities for residents to share their experiences, thoughts and ideas to help shape the future of the council’s leisure, health and wellbeing service.

Future opportunities will be listed on this page, on the Let’s Talk Tower Hamlets consultation website and included in the resident newsletter.

If you have any comments or questions, please email

Frequently asked questions

Are all the leisure centres in Tower Hamlets currently run by GLL/Better transferring back to the council?

Yes. The six leisure centres that are currently open (John Orwell, Mile End, Poplar Baths, Tiller, Whitechapel and York Hall) will be run directly by the council from 1 May 2024. St George’s is being rebuilt.

What does this mean for the leisure centres?

All the leisure centres that are currently open will remain so after the transfer. All staff operating the facilities will be employed by the council, which will run each leisure centre directly. A new management team is being recruited to oversee the leisure service. 

What does this mean for the staff who currently work at these venues?

Staff who are employed by GLL and who are eligible to transfer to the council after 30 April 2024 will become council employees.

What will happen between now and 30 April 2024?

The council is recruiting the management team that will oversee the day-to-day operation of the leisure centres. There will be a number of opportunities for local people share their views about the new service.

Will there be job opportunities for local people?

As we start to recruit for the new service, we will advertise those opportunities on the council website and Workpath, and welcome applications from local residents. We are also keen to ensure there are range of apprenticeships on offer too.

Will the prices stay the same?

We are reviewing the prices as part of this project and welcome views from local residents on what is affordable and what services you value most.

Will I be able to access any leisure centre in Tower Hamlets with my new membership?

The plan is to make sure that there will be memberships that allow you to use any of the transferring council centres.