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Mark Braithwaite moves from 1Life to launch LATC for Sandwell BC

By Liz Terry    24 Nov 2022

Mark Braithwaite is to join Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council / Mark Braithwaite

Mark Braithwaite is to join Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council as chief operating officer. Braithwaite, formerly CEO of leisure management contracting firm 1Life, will start with Sandwell on 11 January.

Ian Hendrie will assume the role of MD at 1Life, with Steve Bambury stepping into the role of COO.

In his new role, Braithwaite will be establishing a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) for Sandwell leisure services, indicating that the council is intending to insource its leisure services following a decision earlier this year to sever its contract with Sandwell Leisure Trust – the incumbent operator.

Councillor Laura Rollins, Sandwell’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mark to Sandwell as the first chief operating officer of our new leisure services management company.

“Mark’s invaluable expertise and experience in managing change and transformation in the leisure sector will be crucial in driving the transition of our leisure centres to the new company and positioning it to deliver even better leisure services to the people of Sandwell.”

Rollins paid tribute to the outgoing management company’s contribution, saying “We recognise Sandwell Leisure Trust’s management and staff’s hard work and dedication over the last 18 years of operation and we’re excited to build on this successful legacy for the future, especially with the opening of the amazing Sandwell Aquatics Centre next summer.”

Other facilities which will be going into the LATC include:

Haden Hill Leisure Centre

Barrs Road, Cradley HeathHadley Stadium

Wilson Road, SmethwickHarry Mitchell Leisure Centre

Broomfield, SmethwickLangley Swimming Centre

Vicarage Road, LangleyPortway Lifestyle Centre

Newbury Lane, OldburySmethwick Swimming Centre

Thimblemill Road, SmethwickTipton Leisure Centre

Alexandra Road, TiptonTipton Sports Academy

Wednesbury Oak Road, TiptonWednesbury Leisure Centre

High Bullen, Wednesbury

West Bromwich Leisure Centre will continue to be operated by Places Leisure.