More than £3 million of investment has been announced for leisure and sporting facilities in Hitchin, Letchworth and Royston.

The new contract is part of a 10-year partnership with leisure operator Everyone Active, who will take over management of the facilities from North Herts Council.

From Monday, April 1, Everyone Active will run North Herts Leisure Centre, Hitchin Swimming and Fitness Centre (formerly Hitchin Swim Centre and Archer Fitness), Royston Leisure Centre, Letchworth Lido (formerly Letchworth Outdoor Pool) and Fearnhill Sports Centre.

The investment funds will be allocated towards extensive refurbishment and expansion across the facilities over the course of the contract.

Everyone Active will refurbish the fitness suites with the latest equipment suitable for all levels including free weights, strength and conditioning and a functional training kit.

Changes and additions will also be made to the group exercise studios to offer more variety and new classes, along with enhancements to food and drink offerings to improve the customer experience.

The improvements planned include a full gym refurbishment at North Herts Leisure Centre, beginning in July this year, with new equipment and plans for a 'state-of-the-art' space.

There will also be a similar full gym refurbishment at Hitchin Swimming and Fitness Centre in spring 2025.

A new group cycling studio will be built at Royston Leisure Centre this summer, along with a new gym and dance studio in autumn 2025 - thanks to £1m in funding from North Herts Council.

Mark Leahy, regional contract manager at Everyone Active, said: "We are delighted to officially begin our partnership with North Herts Council and are looking forward to many successful years ahead.

"The fantastic centres within this contract are so important for health and wellbeing in local communities and, with plenty of exciting developments in the pipeline, we are incredibly privileged to be chosen to manage them.

"The new contract includes a significant investment, amplifying our drive and ambition to prioritise the health and wellbeing of the local community.

"We look forward to supporting the council’s vision for leisure across North Herts, helping as many people as possible to get active."

Decarbonisation measures will be integrated into the refurbishment, aimed at optimising energy conservation.

This is in addition to the council's successful application to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which will see North Herts Leisure Centre, Hitchin Swimming and Fitness Centre and Royston Leisure Centre fitted with air source heat pumps, solar PV panels and cavity and external wall insulation.

The new leisure contract will also include community outreach, providing creative and physical activities in venues such as community halls, churches, centres and outdoor locations to increase accessibility.

Sarah Kingsley, service director for place at North Herts Council, said: "Our collaboration with Everyone Active makes a significant step towards enhancing leisure services in North Herts.

"Through strategic investment and shared commitment, we’re revitalising facilities to better serve our communities, ensuring they have access to top-notch amenities that promote health and wellbeing."

Everyone Active already operates leisure facilities in Stevenage, East Herts and Central Beds.