Introduction from the Chair

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the Active Stirling Strategic review for 2021/22. Although the impacts of the Covid19 Pandemic were significant, we are delighted that we managed to deliver a wide variety of services and activities to the people of Stirling.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank all the Active Stirling team for showing the dedication and flexibility to adapt to the fast-changing environment and challenges we faced over the last year. I would also like to thank my fellow Trustees who continue to give their time to support the organisation and had to adapt to working in a virtual manner.

Finally, I would like to make special recognition to all the partners who have and continue to support us through the challenging economic climate. The flexibility and support of how we use the financial resources associated with these projects has been invaluable to our ongoing survival. Special mention must go to Stirling Council for the extensive support given and still being given to ensure we could deliver as many services and activities as possible to the communities of Stirling.

Looking to the future we are optimistic about returning to more normal circumstances and working towards a more sustainable future. We also look forward to welcoming some new Trustees to the Board in the coming months. We will continue to strive to achieve our mission of

To improve people’s lives in Stirling by getting the inactive active and the active more active, more often.

Foreword from the CEO

Our strategic review shows how we have responded to the ongoing challenges faced through the Covid19 pandemic and how Active Stirling has responded and made an impact through physical activity and sport across Stirling.

I am extremely proud of the Active Stirling team’s response to these challenges and truly appreciate the flexibility and adaptability all have had to embrace during the last year. This included significant restructuring and refocusing of teams. An example of this was the creation of a remote customer service team to support the online requirements of our customers.

This has allowed us to reinstate activities and services in a safe and sustainable manner during this time. I would especially like to thank my management team who have worked tirelessly throughout this period to reshape and re-imagine the organisation.

During the year we have engaged in relevant industry forums and participated in over 50 online forums and events to help guide the sector through the pandemic and initial stages of recovery through sharing experiences and best practice.

As you will see we have achieved a lot despite the restrictions imposed on us and we continue to develop our activities and services to meet customer demands.

Performance and achievements

The highlights outlined below were delivered mainly in the final quarter of the year as we were still having to work under the restrictions imposed by Government in response to Covid19.

  • Provision of free live streaming and on demand fitness classes, live classes streamed 247, views of live streams 1098, on demand videos 201, views of on demand videos 9484
  • Recovery following COVID pandemic to restore 5,643 members
  • Despite destabilising effects of the pandemic provided for 30,590 sports class participants, 3,022 PEAK Holiday Club participants and 4,073 fitness classes
  • 16 community fitness classes delivered per week across Stirling*
  • Digital development—Gladstone Go Join flow launch October 2021
  • Kickstart Fitness campaign Oct–Dec (sales targets 250 and actual 382)
  • New Year, Fresh Start 2022 (sales targets 2,000 and actual 2,612)
  • New membership price package and online sales launch
  • 76% of new memberships purchased online and 24% bought in facility.
  • We ended the year with 5,917 live members which was a 32 % growth for the quarter. Delivered a Social Value of £1.4m

Case study/Quote

*Community fitness

“I am contacting you with regards to the above class held in the Balfour Centre, Plean on Tuesday afternoon. The ladies & I wish to thank Laura & yourself for getting the class started again. We greatly appreciate all the support from Laura especially. I hope you have some idea as to the benefits of the class for all the ladies. Apart from the exercise the social aspect of it for them all has been so uplifting. We even got a new member 93yrs of age. Hopefully, you will have seen the wee video that was taken by Active Stirling. Once again, many thanks.”

The performance outlined below was delivered primarily in the second half of the year as we were still having to work under the restrictions imposed by Government in response to Covid19. Numerous activities were delivered across the Stirling community on behalf of Stirling Council in accordance with an agreed performance indicator framework for the year. These figures provided valuable pandemic restriction reduction benchmark figures to inform expanded activity and target setting for 2022/23.

  • Supported 198 users with 35% concessionary discount in line with government means tested benefits for those at financial disadvantage
  • Provided 69 care experienced young people across Stirling with free PEAK memberships
  • Became a living wage employer paying all team members above living wage
  • 43,359 participant sessions within the Active Schools extra-curricular sport and physical activity programme across 34 Stirling schools
  • 1,093 volunteer led health walking group participants
  • 119 new referrals supported within our exercise referral Active Living for Life and Macmillan Move more cancer rehabilitation programmes

Supported Women and Girls in Sport week during October 2021 profiling some of Active Stirling’s female role models embracing the national #SheCanSheWill campaign.

  • Number of bookings made on the App — 82,635
  • Number of downloads of the App — 14,528
  • Number of online bookings made — 21,741
  • Online sales (Jan–March) — 1,977 sold, 75% of total sales for the period
  • Web analytics reporting started in January 2022 and the first quarterly report available 31 March
  • There was a 64% rise on page views for the January to March period from the previous October to December quarter.
  • Engaged session volume increased by 282%.

Our top two performing channels were through direct and paid searches driving over 83% of all sessions to the site.

  • 80% of entire workforce trained and repurposed to support business recovery
  • Supported Duke of Edinburgh expeditions for 115 pupils across Bannockburn, Wallace, and Stirling High Schools
  • 1 modern apprentice recruited supporting community work within Stirling’s High Schools and one individual recruited through the Young Person’s Guarantee Employability Scheme*
  • Successful in securing £15,000 from the Scottish Governments Flexible workforce development fund to support skills development delivering 576 training hours across a range of courses including IT, health & safety, mental health, HR, and leadership development.
  • 4 team members successfully completed Digital Diplomas in marketing and IT.
  • Total continuous professional development and mandatory training and development across all employees totalled 4,939 hours.

Case study/quote

*Young Person’s Guarantee Scheme

“Through our partnership with Stirling Council Employability Services, we were able to support a young man through the Young Person’s Guarantee Scheme. This young man had previously been a Modern Apprentice with Active Stirling before the pandemic but had become unemployed and seeking work thereafter. The Young Person’s Guarantee Scheme allowed us to fully fund a 6-month job placement for him in our Early Years Team. Such has been the success of the role and of the young man that we have created a permanent Assistant Early Years Coach role as an option to sustain his employment with Active Stirling. The partnership opportunity reflects the people centred approach we take to developing our workforce and is something we hope we can further develop with Stirling Council’s Employability Services.”

The highlights outlined below were delivered primarily in the second half of the year as we were still having to work under the restrictions imposed by Government and associated Job Retention Scheme in response to Covid19. Despite the debilitating effects of the pandemic our community teams continued to proactively engage with communities throughout Stirling to enact positive change through the power of sport and physical activity.

  • Community Activation team restarted Community sports hubs in Killin, Fintry and Bannockburn reinstating sustainable local homes for sport and physical activity services
  • Community Activation Teams supported 96 sport clubs across Stirling to re-affiliate with Club Sport Stirling

Established and led the multiagency leadership group for Stirling’s Sport Physical Activity and Healthy Living Strategy to deliver sustainable and inclusive opportunities for the people of Stirling. Created a new governance framework for the strategy which was approved by all multiagency partners.


(with 2020–21 as comparatives)

  • Investments
    We saved in excess of £70,000 per annum by terminating the lease at Borrowmeadow Road and received Covid-19 support grants of £44,000. These amounts together with further expenditure in excess of £100,000 was reinvested in various Covid-19 related operating adjustments such as IT systems improvements and initial phases of Digital project, reconfiguration of the PEAK and Forthbank, new Studio exercise space, temporary outdoor exercise space, air handling solutions, hygiene products, staff training and signage.
  • KPI’s –
  • Maintained a wage structure higher than living wage foundation level
  • staff costs as % expenditure 65.6% (2020–21 67%)
  • Total management fee including Covid-19 related support from Stirling Council as % turnover 50% (2020–21 56%) Contractual management fee per HOP £14.53 (2020–21 £18.08)
  • Total Management fee per HOP £32.35 (2020–21 £37.76)
Above based on unaudited figures.


The Active Stirling Board is made up of volunteers and Council representatives with a passion for physical activity and sport who give up their time and experience to help ensure good Governance of the charity and steer the strategic direction of the organisation. We aim to keep an active register of interested people to get involved.

Meet our board members

If you would like to find out more or lodge an expression of interest, please visit trustee recruitment