Innovating Through Adversity – How TRP Helped Castle Point Leisure Successfully ‘Go Online’ During the COVID-19 Outbreak






About Castle Point Leisure

Castle Point Leisure is part of Castle Point Borough Council, a local authority covering the Castle Point District of South Essex, UK. 

They operate 2 leisure centres, boasting a variety of facilities from gyms and pools to 3G football pitches and squash courts. 

Castle Point have worked with TRP since 2017 and were recently crowned ‘Best Member Experience – Local Authority’ in the 2019 Member Experience Awards, for their consistent delivery of great experiences to their members. 

Josh Fairbairn, Health and Fitness Manager, and his team are truly customer-focused and have created centres which really are a home-from-home for their members. This means regularly going the extra mile with their customer service and often thinking outside the box to deliver exciting initiatives to stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive local market. 


The Challenge

On 20th March 2020, gyms, health and fitness clubs, and leisure centres across the United Kingdom were ordered by the Government to close their doors to the public – the rest of the world soon followed – as part of a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19.


The Solution

The solution for many, including Castle Point, was to take their core offering online – to keep their members engaged and taking part in regular exercise whilst confined to their homes. 

“After being informed of the requirement to close our facilities and resolving the many operational issues this caused in the days following, our next challenge was to work out how to keep our members engaged with us during the shutdown – the duration of which we are still unsure of.” (Josh FairbairnHealth and Fitness Manager)

Josh and his team made the call to move exercise classes online and quickly operationalised this to ensure maximum impact.


The Results

“We decided that social media was the best place to run our classes as this is where our members already are, now more than ever. In just a matter of days, we are now running 50 live classes per week and have seen over 800 new people come and follow our company pages on Facebook and Instagram for the content.” (Josh Fairbairn, Health and Fitness Manager) 

Before their centres were forced to close, Castle Point were using TRP’s Insight Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) based actionable member feedback software to regularly survey their members on their experience of visits. This feedback was so valuable to them that they wanted to continue to gather it about their new online offeringparticularly given it was the first time they had run on-demand classes like this. They now use the system to survey attendees after every class to see how they found the session. The scores and accompanying comments they have received have been brilliant, resulting in an impressive NPS of 70 to date 

“Insight is more valuable to us now than ever as it is our only way of checking in with how members are feeling towards us now we can’t engage with them face-to-face in-centre. Based on the feedback we have received on our new online classes from the surveys we have sent so far using the system, we can clearly see the move to quickly get them online was a good one. The initiative has had a great reception and we are now anticipating a surge in memberships once the COVID-19 social distancing measures are lifted. We have managed to turn a potentially devastating event for our business into one which could actually bring us out the other end even stronger and that is something I am truly proud of. (Josh Fairbairn, Health and Fitness Manager)

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