How a digital partnership created a seamless leisure centre user experience

As part of an organisational digital transformation programme, Edinburgh Leisure was looking to implement an integrated approach to entrance security, with an overall ambition to improve the customer experience at 23 of its sites.

Edinburgh Leisure is an organisation dedicated to creating opportunities to encourage people to get active and stay active, and are passionate believers in the positive impact physical activity and sport can have on health and wellbeing. With over five million annual customer visits across 50 venues, including the iconic Royal Commonwealth Pool and the historic Leith Victoria Pool, a seamless entrance for users is key to creating a positive user experience from the moment they arrive at a venue.

An integrated system that would be secure yet sympathetic to the different environments, including sites with listed building status, was required.

Edinburgh Leisure wanted to ensure that access was only granted to paying customers, including members and pay-as-you-go users, and sought a solution that would incorporate their existing leisure management software, enabling centre managers to receive real-time information on centre usage.

Meeting the Brief

Through a digital partnership with Gladstone Software and Fastlane turnstiles, security integrators Alternative Systems Protection (ASP) was able to provide a solution that delivered a wide range of benefits to Edinburgh Leisure.

Commenting on the project, Derek Cardno, Business Development Manager at Alternative Systems Protection, said: “When we discussed their requirements, the client had some key objectives for their entrance control system. They needed something that would enable easy and equal pedestrian access for all, with lanes wide enough for standard and sports wheelchair users too.

“Another key requirement was for the system to be connected to their leisure centre management software to streamline access and create a truly integrated system for the centre. Finally, the whole solution would need to be as frictionless as possible, ensuring a free flow of authorised visitors, preventing any bottlenecks at the entrance.”

In order to meet the specific needs of the leisure centre, ASP specified both Fastlane’s Glassgate 150 and 155 turnstiles, with both products being ideally suited for the client’s needs.

Developed with leisure centres in mind, the Glassgate 155 turnstile offers a wider lane width option of up to 1200mm, meaning that it can accommodate sports wheelchairs which are slightly wider than traditional wheelchairs. Plus, when used alongside the Glassgate 150, the combined solution provides stylish, equal access for all facility users.

An Integrated Solution

In order to facilitate an enhanced experience for leisure centre members, Edinburgh Leisure requested an entrance control system that could be fully integrated with its leisure management software provided by Gladstone Software.

Each of the turnstiles were custom fitted by ASP with RFID readers and touchscreens that would allow members to pass through the turnstiles by scanning their membership wristbands or access token. Centre members could also book activities remotely via the website or app and then gain easy access to the centre when their membership credentials were presented.

The RFID technology used by Gladstone Software also integrated with other systems around the leisure centre including gym equipment, which created a contactless membership experience for users.

Stuart Melville, Account Manager at Gladstone Software comments “Thanks to tight integration with our partners, this solution has improved data collection and placed friction-free member management right into the heart of the Gladstone LMS.

“Our collaborative partnership and the resulting improvements involving facilities access control together with RFID technology allowed Edinburgh Leisure to realise the potential for digital transformation throughout the entire member journey.”

The integrated digital approach also allowed Edinburgh Leisure to change their staffing models. With the majority of bookings taking place remotely, or via a self-service kiosk, they could redeploy their team members to other areas of the business.

Commenting on the project, Stuart Fairbairn, Head of IT at Edinburgh Leisure said: “Our goal at Edinburgh Leisure was to improve our customer service, remove queues at our busiest times and allow customers to self-serve as much as possible.  The introduction of the Fastlane turnstiles, and replacing traditional reception desks with modern, height-adjustable information pods has allowed us to achieve this.

“The gates are extremely reliable and we have had minimal issues with them considering the footfall they deal with on a daily basis.  Any issues we have had have been resolved extremely quickly due to IDL being UK based and not having issues having to import spare parts.”

Phil Allen, Regional Sales Manager (UK & Ireland) at Integrated Design Limited, said: “We are delighted that our Fastlane products were specified by the team at Alternative Systems Protection for installation across Edinburgh Leisure’s centre network.

“Working closely with ASP, our technical team created a bespoke solution that allowed for the integration of wristband readers for members and barcode readers for pay-as-you-go visitors. Using touchscreens and the Gladstone Leisure Management Software, members are able to pre-book activities online before arriving at the centres, providing a frictionless arrival experience.”

For more information about the Fastlane Glassgate 155 you can read our product profile or contact our team who would be happy to arrange a product demonstration or talk through your project requirements – +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email