The Princess Pavilion and Ships and Castles Leisure Centre are under new management after Cornwall Council handed control of its 15 leisure centres and facilities over to a new operator.

Social enterprise GLL, which trades under the name Better, took over provision of leisure services across the county from April 1 after the contract with former operator Tempus ended.

The company operates more than 300 sport and leisure facilities across the country, and said it can gain economies of scale and re-invest more surpluses back into the business, while employees can take advantage of unparalleled career development opportunities.

It also said it expects to increase general membership by thousands and boost swim school membership.

Initial investment with Cornwall Council will see £8m put into improvements including refreshed gyms with the latest equipment, significant refurbishments to allow for a wider range of activities and environmental and energy saving technologies for centres.

Cornwall Council chief operating officer Cath Robinson said: “We have been working closely with GLL and the current operators to ensure a smooth transition on April 1.

“All the leisure facilities currently owned and maintained by the Council are included in the contract and have been awarded to GLL on a long term 25 year lease basis which means that the Council will continue to own the freehold of the sites.”

Chris Symons, director of development for GLL, added: “We are delighted to welcome Cornwall to the GLL family, a growing national leisure network that now stretches from Belfast to Cardiff and from Cumbria to Lands End.

“As a social enterprise, we put the community at the heart of everything we do. So I am looking forward to seeing the improved facilities coming through the pipeline and customer numbers increasing by the thousands as we get more people in Cornwall, more active, more often.

“We are in the process of writing to customers to tell them of the change over of their memberships which does not require them to do anything. We are very happy to hear from those who have any comments or queries – part of our approach is to provide an accessible and friendly service.”

GLL will take control of a leisure portfolio which consists of: Phoenix Leisure Centre in Launceston, Saltash Leisure Centre, Lux Park Leisure Centre in Liskeard, Dragon Leisure Centre in Bodmin, Polkyth Leisure Centre, Helston Leisure Centre, Truro Leisure Centre, Ships and Castles Leisure Centre in Falmouth, St Ives Leisure Centre, Waterworld in Newquay, Newquay Sports Centre, Wadebridge Leisure Centre, Splash Leisure Pool in Bude, Par Athletics Track, and the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth.