Key assets of facilities hire firm acquired out of administration

Sean Mallon

A Bolton firm specialising in hiring out under-used school facilities has been bought out of administration by a company in West Yorkshire.

School Letting Solutions (SLS) entered administration in August as a result of restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It directly employed 93 staff, as well as 890 casual staff spread around the country. It held contracts with more than 300 schools and, in 2019, reported revenues of £13m.

Today, Bradford-based SLS Communities Ltd, trading as CommunityHire, said it has acquired SLS from administrators, for an undisclosed sum.

Recently-founded CommunityHire said it is a local letting solution for premises suitable for sport, health, lifestyle and social use, allowing grassroots sports and community groups to make use of first class facilities at an affordable price.

It said, following the acquisition, SLS will operate a high-value franchise model, using local owner operators throughout the UK to manage and build relationships with local facilities and community groups.

CommunityHire said it is committed to supporting the local economy through its flexible and low cost approach with local high schools, community halls and any under-utilised facility.

Through the management of letting facilities and venues, CommunityHire allows local community groups to easily access suitable, secure and managed local venues.

Football teams, yoga classes, choir groups and children’s parties will be provided with local site-based staff to keep administration of the venues to a minimum.

CommunityHire provides a customer service to facility owners ensuring that they do not have to manage their own facilities out of hours.

A designated local operator will manage all bookings through its online portal with marketing and promotional strategies to maximise lettings.

CommunityHire’s local franchisees oversee the full management of the facilities with a hands-on approach to each letting.

Managing director, Sean Mallon, said: “The acquisition of SLS is an exciting opportunity for CommunityHire – it will provide us with further resources to support our growth plans and further affirms CommunityHire’s position as a market leader in local facility lettings.

“CommunityHire works to provide a localised, highly focused service level based on true relationships, but with the corporate structure needed to ensure continuity and consistency of service.

“Community is at the heart of what CommunityHire is about, we want to bring people together post-COVID-19 and reignite the community spirit and know that acquiring SLS’s legacy and assets will allow us to do this. Local facilities ran by local people.”