More Leisure Community Trust has an experienced Board of Trustees who are representative of the local communities that we serve and have a broad range of skills commensurate with the business that the board engages in. Board members attend formal quarterly meetings and along with frequent informal meetings focus on the business in hand and on important items within the leisure industry to determine the direction of travel for the Trust and its ongoing strategy. More Leisure Community Trust are pleased to work in genuine partnership with Serco Leisure as its Managing Agent and the council in delivering high-quality, cost-efficient leisure services and activities, with particular emphasis on social outcomes and wellbeing to the local community.

Brian Taylor – Chairman and Chief Finance Officer

Brian has had a long and varied career in general and financial management including catering, music, leisure construction, house building, pubs, and accountancy.

As well as being Chair of More Leisure Community Trust and several other leisure Trusts, Brian is currently Chair and Managing Director of a small group of companies which currently has interests in pubs, accountancy, and property.

On the voluntary front Brian has been Chair of a local football club, Chair of the local sports council, served on the local enterprise board and was Honary Squadron Commander for 422nd Air Based Squadron based at RAF Croughton.

Brian’s experience in financial and general management coupled with over 15 years’ experience of leisure Trusts and general passion for community and seeing people ‘more active’ equips Brian with the skills to lead the trust board to develop the strategy and direction to take the trust forward.

Brian Taylor
Ian Phelps

Ian Phelps – Chief Executive Officer

Ian is passionate leader with first class communication skills and a long track record of successful contract management.

Having competed in multiple sports at a high level, Ian is committed to health and fitness industry and has sports running through his veins.  Even leading a relay team to swim the English Channel at the age of 56.

With over 45 years in the leisure business, Ian has an extensive knowledge of the leisure market and in particular leisure trusts and knowledge of current economic, social and regulatory issues.

From the position of Trainee Manager in a large multi-purpose council operated leisure centre, Ian’s career in the public sector culminated after 17 years as Assistant Director of Leisure Services for Lichfield District Council. In 1988 he was ‘head hunted’ into the private leisure sector before moving 3 years later to Serco Leisure where he had roles as Director and then Managing Director.

Contract negotiations featured high on his agenda as well as building long term successful relationships with clients.  He was instrumental in designing and implementing 17 Independent Trust Boards who subsequently engaged with Serco Leisure to exceed contract obligations through a Managing Agency Agreement. Ian retired as Managing Director from Serco Leisure in 2016 and was appointed as CEO for More Leisure Community Trust in 2019.

Christine Coppack - Secretary

Christine has been working within the leisure market since 1989, initially in the fitness market before moving into Operations and Management. Christine has had considerable experience working with a number of large leisure operators gaining experience and personal development. 

Christine is currently working with a leading Health and Safety and Quality provider supporting leisure groups and independent trusts on their processes, systems and standards.

Christine Coppack
Kate McKnight

Kate Mcknight - Trustee

Kate is a Leisure Business expert with over 30 years’ experience of working in the Leisure industry.  She has a passion for community wellbeing and providing excellent leisure facilities for people to use regardless of their physical ability or their ability to pay.

Kate has worked in many areas of Leisure over the years to include Contract and Facility Management, Business Development, Sales Marketing and Programming.

Kate has worked for the governing body of swimming (Swim England) as Head of Facilities and also for FINA the international federation as Honorary secretary for the facilities committee, this post involved writing the requirements for Architects and Pool Designers so their drawings comply with the requirements of the sport for Olympics, World Championships and major events.

Kate has now moved into the world of design and manufacturing of swimming pools as Country Manager for the UK & Ireland for Myrtha Pools and includes her expertise in programming and facility management to ensure each project is perfectly designed to meet the requirements of the community, the operator, and the pool owner.

Kate also continues to work with Swimming Clubs and other Leisure organisations advising on developing their business and assisting towards their financial success.

Craig Elder - Trustee

Craig is a partner in a national law firm, and has almost twenty years’ experience of advising central and local government bodies, charities and private sector companies on major projects, commercial contracts and procurement matters. His work advising local authority clients led to his being named “Local Authority Lawyer of the Year” by Legal 500 in 2019.

Craig has particularly relevant experience of advising on leisure procurements, operating contracts and capital investments in the leisure sector. This experience includes leading on projects at the National Water Sports Centre and around ten local authority leisure procurements over recent years. As a result, he has a deep understanding of the commercial issues faced by leisure operators and client authorities, the contractual arrangements which underpin their operations, and the current Sport England standard form contracts.

Craig Elder
Rebecca Cox

Rebecca Cox - Trustee

Rebecca has over 25 years’ experience in the sports and leisure industry, spending over 20 years working for public and private operators specialising in aquatics, training and Education and leisure business management. She has extensive experience from a grassroots level through to executive roles.

Rebecca was appointed as Managing Director of the Institute of Swimming in 2016, having joined the organisation in 2013 as Head of Business Development. She is responsible for the strategic approach of the business ensuring the reach and influence of the Institute of swimming, across national and international markets. Responsible for leading the organisation through the commercial landscape, maximising opportunity whilst considering the requirements of the sport, challenging the status quo by questioning the norm, personalising offers and providing aquatic solutions for the sector. 

Vicky Ernst – Trustee

Vicky is adaptable and highly motivated who enjoys challenge and strives for excellence. She has an exceptional track record, with her determination to achieve success she brings energy and enthusiasm to any market or industry.

As a people-leader, she is driven by stretch roles and creating high performing teams; responsive to changes and opportunities; a keen explorer seeking new challenges; good political skills, problem solving and use of credibility and integrity to gain trust and give confidence.

This passion for growth is supported by a strong background in the delivery of complex Transition and Transformation programmes evidenced through the conception and establishment of a Transition proposition. She is also a qualified worldwide Chartered Marketer. Winner of Best Woman in Digital Innovation at the European Women in construction and Engineering 2019.

Vicky currently works for Biffa Waste Management Services as Transformation & Programme Director.

In her spare time, Vicky is a Paddle Sport Instructor with East Sussex County Council, Buzz Active where she takes sessions for adults, children, SEND, groups and families, from March to October. She specialises in paddle boarding, and in addition, lead sessions at Cuckmere Haven in kayaking, raft building, giant SUP and orienteering. 

John Nelson

John Nelson - Trustee

John retired in 2017 as Deputy Director of Leisure and wellbeing for West Lancashire Borough Council.  His career spans over 40 years working for four local authorities across the Merseyside area, including two Metropolitan Councils.

Moving to West Lancashire as the Head of Leisure and Cultural Services in 1991, John was instrumental in outsourcing the Council’s Leisure facilities to a private sector partner under a local trust arrangement.  John also oversaw the transfer to local community groups the Council’s community rooms and Civic Hall under either charitable trust, NPDO’s or CIC’s.

The position of Deputy Director for Leisure and Wellbeing brought together the environmental heath functions with the development of a Council wide health and wellbeing strategy with Leisure as the main focus for delivery. Working closely with the Director of Health for Lancashire John was key to delivering initiatives to improve health outcomes for residents.

John was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1997 (Magistrate) and continues following his retirement from Local Government to attend magistrates and crown courts in Cheshire and Merseyside. Sitting as a Presiding Justice (Chair) in the Magistrates adult criminal courts, on appeals in the Crown Courts and is also a members of the youth bench sitting in the Magistrates youth courts.

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