15 May 2019
Live Active Rodney, one of the city's best known landmarks, recently celebrated 25 years in the business of fitness. Over the years it has gone from small gym with a few classes, to a cutting-edge provider of global fitness trends, equipped with super-smart equipment that will measure your heart rate, take you through a forest track and tell you when to up your game!
And it's not just the static bike that has changed - just look at those leotards!
Congratulations Rodney! Quarter of century keeping us all fit, healthy and happy - you deserve every last bit of that cake!
The first Rodney Lodge was originally known as Marshall Cottage and was an impressive building constructed in 1800 by Provost Thomas Hay Marshall. In 1866, it transferred into the ownership of John Rollo, who renamed the property after Admiral George Rodney. All was well until the route of the Victoria Bridge was approved (replaced by the Queen’s Bridge in 1960) which ran directly through the middle of Rodney Lodge.
The current Rodney Lodge, or Rodney Pavilion as it became known, was built in 1932. Miss Rollo, sister of the late Mr John Rollo sold the Pavillion to General Accident as a recreation space for the enjoyment of their employees. Tennis courts and a bowling green were added in 1936 making it the earliest recorded leisure centre to become part of the history of Live Active Leisure.
The Rodney building and associated grounds were acquired by the District Council in 1985 for use as a community centre when the General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation plc, provided new sports facilities at their head office site at Pitheavlis, Perth.
Calling upon Live Active Leisure (at the time working under the PKRF brand) in June 1987, the Council invited PKRF to maintain and manage Rodney Pavilion as a sports hall, community centre and restaurant for a period of three years. The Company became responsible for operating the venue in October 1987 and this new opportunity allowed them to provide a programme of activities such as fitness classes and gym provision, some of which hadn’t been possible in Bell’s Sports Centre at the time. It was opened to the public on 5 October 1987 and became an immediate success.
Following a three year trial, it was agreed that Rodney Pavilion should become a permanent PKRF Company facility and the Council and Company entered into a 30 year lease. Such was the success of the venue, that after considerable review, the decision was taken to turn Rodney into a full-blown fitness centre. Following further changes it reopened as Rodney Fitness Centre on 5 May 1994 and quickly established itself as the leading venue for health and fitness in area.
At this time, the “Feel Good Factor”, a district-wide community health initiative aimed at improving general levels of fitness and health awareness, had taken off and Rodney became the main base for all activity.
Following flood damage at the start of 1996, an 18 week closure for major refurbishment was required for the popular Centre and this provided the opportunity to further develop and upgrade the facilities and equipment on offer. The Company continued its commitment to this increasingly successful venue and in 2014 carried out a £250,000 gym upgrade. The venue continues its success story and is a popular choice among members and guests, often operating at capacity.