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Our 2021/22 Annual report shows a remarkable recovery post-COVID, thanks to support packages, increased membership levels and staff determination.

Membership at West Lothian Leisure facilities has returned to 87% of pre-Covid levels, exceeding expectation and driving recovery.

Ben Lamb, who took over as West Lothian Leisure Chief Executive in late 2022, welcomed the report, and underlined the successes that the team have achieved, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact this had on the organisation, and indeed, on all leisure operators across the UK.  He said: “Across the UK, sports and leisure providers have struggled to continue trading, but with the support of our customers, staff and partners, we have been able to weather the storm. 


“The experience of the pandemic taught us many things, including that our staff and customers are our greatest assets.  While we have further challenges ahead with sharply rising costs, and access to outside funding becoming more difficult, they will continue to be vital to our ongoing success.”


Key achievements within the year include:

  • The development of specialist health and wellbeing services almost doubling the levels of funding from the West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, with almost 1,550 health and wellbeing referrals supported
  • We are the only Scottish trust to receive a Gold Medal Award at the 2021 Member Experience Awards, based on customer feedback, with Broxburn Swimming Pool awarded ‘Best Swimming Pool Member Experience in the UK’
  • Over 1.6m visits to WLL venues, and almost 20,000 members
  • Almost 300,000 learn to swim attendances at pools across the region, with children in the programme growing from 4,400 to 5,800


In February 2022, West Lothian Leisure announced a ground-breaking collaboration with West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership with the aim of using physical activity to compliment, or to be used as an alternative to, more traditional treatments. Patients are referred by their GP, link worker or other heath professionals. 


The innovative programme is targeted primarily at patients who have underlying conditions such as heart disease, are an unhealthy weight, or are coping with mental health issues. The intention is to further develop the programme to support those recovering from long-Covid.


Ben Lamb continued “Membership levels, understandably, dropped significantly in our previous full financial year, from 2020 to 2021.  On behalf of the Trust, I would like to note our appreciation to both Council and Government for the support we received, without which we would not have come through that time.  Furthermore, without the support of our board, staff, members, and other users, we would have struggled to regain pace. 


“To use a common sporting metaphor, the ball is firmly back in our court, and we are in the process of planning what the future looks like.  The landscape is undeniably challenging but given what we have faced across the last few years, I am confident we have the team, talent, and determination to succeed. 


“Our overarching aim, to contribute to a West Lothian where everyone can live a healthier, happier, longer life, is at the heart of everything we do, and we will continue to deliver services that live up to the spirit of that vision.” 


With 391 employees working across 20 sporting, cultural and leisure venues, West Lothian Leisure provides a key quality-of-life service which attracts employers and newcomers to the region, as well as supporting the current community, at all ages and stages of life. 89% of our employees live in the West Lothian area.    


CLICK HERE to read the report in full.