Aura Wales is delighted to be named a finalist in the ‘Transforming Community and Place’ category at the 2022 Social Business Wales awards.
The awards recognise pioneering social enterprises across Wales and Aura will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held in Swansea on 10 October.
Deeside Leisure Centre, Aura’s largest facility, has undergone quite the transformation in recent years. Following its use as a temporary Rainbow hospital, the building has now been transformed back into a leisure centre that sits at the heart of its community, with new and exciting attractions to meet the needs of local Flintshire residents and visitors from further afield.
Our fun-filled inflatable park – the first of its kind in Flintshire – opened in December 2021 and accommodates up to 70 users at a time. This was followed soon after with the re-opening of our new and improved indoor skate park at Deeside Leisure Centre which accommodates for all types of wheeled sports including scooters, skateboards, BMX and inline skaters. These new attractions represent Aura’s ambition and commitment to providing exciting and dynamic leisure opportunities for its community. We now eagerly look forward to the return of the ice rink, due to re-open in autumn 2022.
Aura has gratefully received some fantastic feedback from visitors to Deeside Leisure Centre since the opening of these two new attractions, with one skate park user saying: “Our visit was fantastic: the staff were wonderful, friendly, and happy to help. It is such a nice atmosphere – a fabulous experience! It is great to have a facility like this on our doorstep.”
As one of the first employee-owned community benefit societies operating in the UK, Aura’s impact was first recognised nationally at the 2019 Social Business Wales Awards where we scooped not only the Consumer Facing award but the main prize of Social Enterprise of the Year with the judging panel describing Aura as “a great example of how a social enterprise can keep valuable services running for the benefit of local communities”.
Paul Jones, Aura’s Business Improvement & Performance Manager, shared his thoughts on behalf of the whole Aura team, saying: “Following the challenges presented by the pandemic and the temporary loss of Deeside Leisure Centre we’re delighted that we’ve been able to revitalise the former indoor arena space through the introduction of two brand new and exciting attraction parks. Both have proved extremely popular with customers since their opening and the recent national recognition received via this year’s Social Business Wales Awards is testament to the hard work of colleagues in bringing the new vision to fruition.”