Our Strategy

We Move as One

Working in response to the GM Moving in Action strategy, we have a shared, simple objective for our ‘We Move As One’ strategy – to get more people physically active and improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Our Challenge

A whole system approach of working together across Greater Manchester had successfully reduced inactivity at two and a half times the national rate. We were proud of what the people of Greater Manchester had achieved but then, devastatingly, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. 

The latest Sport England Active Lives data for adults, from May 2020 to May 2021, shows that the proportion of adults moving for at least 30 minutes a week in Greater Manchester has decreased by 2.4 per cent. That means there are 48,300 more people across the region who are inactive compared to the previous 12 months. 

The pandemic has caused untold damage in Greater Manchester’s communities, exacerbating already-entrenched health inequalities. The importance of, and emphasis on, population-wide health and wellbeing has never been more pertinent, and our community-level leisure facilities, supporting those who need our help the most, are integral to the region’s recovery.  


Covid-19 has given us time to rethink the opportunities available to help our different communities live more active lives, and to truly value the importance of mental health. Although the pandemic has knocked us, this is our chance to work differently and come back even stronger.  

Our collaborative approach gives us a real opportunity to bring about change. We are a unique combination of organisations and people; pioneers in the leisure sector.  

How we respond to these challenges is fundamental to our strategy. 

Our purpose

Helping people across Greater Manchester live healthy, happy, and longer lives.

Our vision

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.

Our strategic aims and objectives

Encourage active lives for all and help to reduce health inequalities within Greater Manchester:

1.1. Maximise our future contribution to Greater Manchester’s population health and wellbeing outcomes.

1.2 Increase the numbers of people accessing our facilities and services from groups who face the biggest health and physical activity inequalities.

1.3 Develop and promote our capacity to improve health and wellbeing through social prescribing.

1.4 Bolster the resilience, sustainability, and skills of our collective workforce to meet the demands of their role and the changing needs of our diverse communities.


Support and drive effective system wide collaboration with key partners across Greater Manchester:

2.1 Contribute to GM’s Covid-19 recovery and resilience and help to build back fairer through our role as activity enablers.

2.2 Co-design and deliver evidence- based credible health and wellbeing solutions.

2.3 Drive forward the GM-wide digital transformation journey to help widen access and increase participation in physical activity.


Strengthen our resilience to ensure long-term sustainability:

3.1 Strengthen our position and collective ability to seek out and secure new commissions and additional sources of revenue.

3.2 Enhance our company reputation and credibility with key stakeholders and continue to expand our national influencing role.

3.3 Achieve economies of scale through collaboratively working together on efficiency measures and joint procurement.


Embed environmental sustainability and support the region’s ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2038:

4.1 Demonstrate and share good practice to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in our buildings.

4.2 Share ideas and expertise in developing net zero strategies for our leisure and cultural assets.

4.3 Engage and educate our staff & members about the effects of climate change and promote active, sustainable travel to and from our facilities.

4.4 Commit to reducing our use of single-use plastics and increasing our recycling efforts.


How we are delivering our strategy

Our four Strategic Aims are our guiding pillars for our collective 3600 employees.

Our strategy is brought to life by our people from right across GM Active, with four priority work streams.

1. Health and Wellbeing
2. People
3. Digital
4. Sustainability

With four working groups in place, they are our driving force for action and ensure we deliver our ‘We Move As One’ strategy. Whilst each group has a different remit, they all share the following common roles: 

  • Lead the delivery of our aims and objectives.
  • Receive strategic direction from the Board of Directors
  • Develop shared approaches and consistency in our work
  • Sharing information and learning from each other
  • Facilitating dialogue and challenges between member organisations on best practice
  • Collaborative projects
  • Ensure progress is effectively managed, monitored and evaluated
  • Report to the Board of Directors and make recommendations as required

A themed group leads on the delivery of each strategic objective:

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.