About Us

Who we are

GM Active is a collaboration of 12 amazing leisure and community organisations from across Greater Manchester that are all part of the same movement with a shared aim – to get more people physically active.

We manage the majority of the publicly-owned leisure and physical activity assets on behalf of 10 local authorities. By sharing knowledge, expertise and resource between our organisations, we improve our services, deliver and co-produce the best, most cost-effective solutions to meet local needs.

We pride ourselves in putting our communities and our people at the heart of everything we do. We are a unique combination of organisations and people; pioneers in the leisure sector.

Older lady participating in a seated exercise class at Your Trust Rochdale

GM Active member organisations

GM Active is made up of 12 separate leisure and community organisations. Members operate in all 10 local authority areas across Greater Manchester making it possible for us to reach communities across the whole region.

The GM Active collective accounts for 99 leisure and sports facilities across the city-region, with a combined reach of 20 million visits a year, playing a major role in the health of our communities.

Together, ‘We Move As One’.

Click on a member organisation below to find out more about them:

Active Tameside
Bolton Arena Sports Village
Bolton Community Leisure
Bury Council
Life Leisure
Oldham Active
Salford Community Leisure
Trafford Leisure
Wigan Council
Wythenshawe Forum Trust
Your Trust

Our Board

GM Active is led by our Executive Board which includes a nominated Director from each of our 12 Member organisations.

Reg Patel

Deputy CEO at Active Tameside

Estelle Rowe

Chief Executive, Your Trust

Eddie Flanagan

Chief Executive, Whythenshawe Forum Trust Ltd.

Neil Hutchinson

Managing Director, Bolton Middlebrook Leisure Trust

John Oxley

Chief Executive, Life Leisure

Lynsey Johnson

Head of Wellbeing, Wigan Council

Mahendra Patel

Partnership Manager, Bolton Community Leisure Trust

Stuart Lockwood

Chief Executive, Oldham Active

Jackie Veal

Head of Wellness Operations, Bury Council

Stephen Hassall

Chief Executive, Salford Community Leisure

Jo Cherrett

Chief Executive, Trafford Leisure CIC and Vice-Chair, GM Active

Andy King

Chief Executive, MCR Active

Jon Keating

Head of Business Operations and Company Secretary (GM Active)

Proud to be a Community Interest Company

GM Active is recognised as a Community Interest Company (CIC). This not-for-profit status ensures our assets are only used for the benefit of our social objectives across Greater Manchester’s communities.

Why we formed

The power of collaboration was the driving force behind the formation of GM Active in October 2016. Here are some of the main reasons why we came together as one: 

  • To manage the pressure of reducing public sector funding.
  • To improve our focus on delivery of health & wellbeing outcomes.
  • To increase our role in the Greater Manchester devolution agreement.
  • The publication of Greater Manchester Moving.
  • The assumption of “stronger together” & that collaboration will lead to enhanced outcomes across Greater Manchester.

What collaboration brings us

We collaborate where we can make a bigger or better difference to each of our local communities.

Collaboration across all 12 GM Active member organisations brings us:

  • Shared learning, expertise and resources.
  • Joint working and procurement, which helps to drive down expenditure and improve services.
  • Commercial advantage and increased investment.
  • Improved member, community and social benefits across our towns and cities.
  • A strong, unified voice and a commitment to shared goals.

We Move as One.

Our purpose has always been to help everyone from across the Greater Manchester region, live healthy, happy and longer lives. Our vision is to facilitate a network of innovative, resilient and high performing Greater Manchester leisure and community organisations that deliver transformational health and wellbeing outcomes through collaboration across our local communities.

View our strategy

Our Collective Scale and Impact

We deliver wide ranging leisure and wellbeing services for the 2.8 million people living in Greater Manchester and over 7 million working across the city region of Greater Manchester.

The GM Active group is collectively responsible for 99 leisure and sports facilities across Greater Manchester, with a combined reach of over 20 million visits every year.


People with long-term conditions supported to be active every year


People collectively employed by GM Active


People committed to regular exercise through our memberships


Activity sessions delivered per week (over 0.5 million a year!)


In community savings generated through our physical activity services

“We believe this training is vital to ensure that we are creating leaders of the future who understand how they can influence change in their own communities and create a joined-up approach to health and wellness, while motivating their teams through dynamic and passionate leadership.” Elaine Briggs, Chief Education and Partnership Officer at Future Fit Training

“We want to be able to offer a prehab service to anyone in Greater Manchester who is diagnosed with cancer. We want to be embedded within all cancer pathways and ensure all patients have access to the programme. This will come with the use of the data we are collecting to build an evidence base and a case for further long term, sustainable funding.”

Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves, P4C Programme Manager

“This is a huge community challenge for areas of Greater Manchester. Helping people to be active and supporting their wellbeing will be key to helping families and individuals to cope throughout this crisis.”

Andy Burnham

It is vital that staff across the community leisure sector understand much more about the wider community we serve and how we can better play our part in improving health and wellbeing services for everyone across Greater Manchester.

Andy King, Chair of GM Active

Eight out of ten patients accept referrals.

Since January 2021, 1,130 patients have been referred to Prehab4Cancer in Greater Manchester, with an acceptance rate of 82 per cent. With the pilot scheme in its infancy in Cheshire, 20 patients are currently taking part.

“We believe this training is vital to ensure that we are creating leaders of the future who understand how they can influence change in their own communities and create a joined-up approach to health and wellness, while motivating their teams through dynamic and passionate leadership.”

Elaine Briggs, Director of Education at Future Fit Training

“Our leadership programme will bolster the knowledge and understanding of our staff to meet the demands of their roles and the changing needs of our communities.”

Andy King, Chair of GM Active

“We do a lot of strength training to build and optimise muscle as we know that good muscular strength will support function and independence following surgery and treatment.”

Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves, Prehab4Cancer Programme Manager

“We’ve learned many things during the course of the pandemic, but more than anything else, we’ve learned that we can help people to live their best possible life in increasingly diverse ways in our centres, our streets, our parks and online.”

Chris Rushton, Director at GM Active

“That’s what this programme is doing – it’s changing people’s lives forever.”

“Prehab4Cancer is now seen as an exemplar for prehab, and how we do it. We work with colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the north of England, Canada, Australia, and America, all because of the work we have done in this part of the world. To be able to say we represent Greater Manchester on a UK and international footing is absolutely phenomenal.”

“Working in response to the GM Moving in Action strategy, we have created a new ‘We Move As One’ strategy, which will underpin our current success with greater strategic direction and commercial sustainability.”

If physical activity were a drug, we would refer to it as a miracle cure, due to the great many illnesses it can prevent and help treat.

Person 2, UK Chief Medical Officer’s Physical Activity Guidelines

Making it possible for people across the region to access physical activity opportunities in the neighbourhood.

Our Work

GM Active was formed to harness the power of collaboration. Our work with our member organisations, together with other public bodies and agencies, covers a broad spectrum of health and wellbeing activity.

Pivot to Active Wellbeing

This ambitious project involving all local authority leisure operators across Greater Manchester is aiming to change how local leisure centres, swimming pools, fitness facilities and services are perceived and used, putting a greater emphasis on health and wellbeing instead of being purely focused on fitness.

Read the story


Prehab4Cancer is the first UK integrated care service delivered prehabilitation and recovery programme for cancer patients, via a partnership between the GM Cancer alliance and GM Active. 

Read the story

Skills and Training Academy

Our Skills and Training Academy has been developed to give our collective workforce the skills to support and meet the needs of their customers, enabling a transformation in the culture, knowledge and behaviours of staff to address the challenges of inactivity in the region.

Read the story

Latest News

Ideas and projects are continuously evolving and progressing at GM Active. View our latest news stories below to find out how we are moving as one and contributing towards building the healthy, happy and prosperous Greater Manchester we all aspire to.

Cornerstone DM: Why we’ve put the full force of our marketing muscle behind GM Active

News | 27/03/2024

Cornerstone Design and Marketing has forged an unrivalled reputation within the leisure and wellbeing industry, with many clients – including GM Active – joining the Oldham-based agency via word-of-mouth recommendations from other leisure industry operators.

Read more

Future Fit: Proud to be helping GM Active operate beyond the cutting edge

News | 06/02/2024

Transformational leaders, continuous professional development and digital staff induction – the impact of our strategic business partner Future Fit runs deep throughout GM Active.

Read more

Reach Wellness: A shared vision to improve wellness among Greater Manchester’s communities

News | 06/02/2024

Exercise is just as much about recovery and regeneration as it is about pushing yourself, says Jeff Davis, Managing Director of our Strategic Business Partner, Reach Wellness.

Read more

Interested in working with us?

We are actively seeking new partners, opportunities for collaboration and innovative ways of working.  We can’t do this alone. If our plans, purpose and intent chime with you, please do connect with us and be part of our transformational movement.