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€100m investment in wellbeing hubs planned for City of Madrid

25 Nov 2021
The City of Madrid could become one of the healthiest in the world if plans by the council come to fruition.

The local government has revealed plans to develop wellbeing infrastructure for the next generation, including significant investment in new facilities, to include the creation of 14 new wellbeing hubs – mixing sport, fitness and other activities – over the next six years.

Located across the city, the wellbeing hubs will create an enhanced network of facilities as part of a strategy to connect each and every citizen to better health and wellbeing.

Each will be built by public-private collaboration with more than €100m being allocated for the creation of the hubs – but without this including taxpayer money.

The model will see private companies build the facilities, in return for the right to manage them for 25 years, while the city retains ownership of the buildings, control of pricing and visibility of performance with regards to quality and social impact in what will remain a public service for local people.

Three of the centres are set to be built and completed by the end of 2023.

Madrid City Council earned plaudits during the pandemic for its strong support of the rights of people to access sports and fitness facilities.

The authority designated facilities as essential services that have remained open under restrictions since the end of the first lockdown in 2020.

Madrid is also home to Iberian operator GO fit, the wellbeing company with 20 wellbeing hubs across Spain and Portugal – eight of which are in Madrid serving over 100,000 people.

In 2014 GO fit worked with Madrid City Council to develop the Vallehermoso Hub, a site on a historic former sporting facility in the city.

GO fit and Madrid City Council followed this with the 2018 opening of the Peñagrande Hub.

A spokesman for GO fit said: “There remain many unanswered questions regarding the future development of these plans but our partners at Madrid City Council should be applauded for their vision.

"They showed during the pandemic that they understood the essential nature of wellbeing for the people in any community. This is another step to build on that in the years ahead.”

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