Meridian sports centre proves a big bit

Encouraging activity: East Lindsey District Council
Encouraging activity: East Lindsey District Council

Campaign: Meridian Leisure Centre opening
Client: East Lindsey District Council
PR team: In-house
Timescale: August 2009-November 2010
Budget: £1,000

Meridian Leisure Centre was built as East Lindsey's flagship leisure venue to encourage participation in sport and improve the health of local people.

Objectives

- To help Meridian Leisure Centre achieve 250,000 visitors in the first year

- To help the centre attract 1,200 members.

Strategy

The PR team generated media opportunities by working with Arran Brindle, a former player for the England women's cricket team, and Bernice Wilson, sport development officer for the council and among the top 20 fastest women in the world over 60 metres. The media, opinion-formers and hard-to-reach groups were invited to pre-opening tours of the centre. A Facebook page was set up and a 3D walkthrough of the fitness centre was posted to attract young people. Following the opening, the 100,000th and 250,000th visitors were celebrated to maintain public interest in the centre.

Measurement and evaluation

Coverage generated included 25 newspaper articles and 20 broadcasts.

Results

After the campaign, membership stood at 1,900, with 315,000 people visiting the centre during the first year of operation.

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