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Meet the leisure team.....

Meet Julie Cardwell, Strategic Lead for Leisure, North Northamptonshire Council.


Picture of Julie and her daughter Emily at the top of the Rockefeller Centre in New York.

"Hello everyone, I am currently the Strategic Lead for Leisure for North Northamptonshire Council, that means I am responsible for leading the management of the Councils Leisure Services functions across North Northamptonshire including our in house facilities, those outsourced or leased to commercial and charitable partners, Sport and Play development, contract and relationship management and capital improvement programmes for leisure facilities.  I have been also leading on developing the Active Communities Framework which will give us a number of strategies to support our ongoing service development to meet the needs of our growing population in North Northamptonshire. The framework will include an Active Communities Strategy which will support increasing activity levels, a Leisure Facilities Strategy and a Playing pitch strategy.  There are lots of projects and studies that are currently being developed so lots to keep us all busy now and in the future which I am sure you will find out more about in this newsletter and forthcoming updates.

As a relatively new service bringing together a team from across North Northamptonshire it is important that we have a clear direction to know where we are going and how we wish to develop the service for the benefit of our residents, it has been a pleasure to work with such a dedicated leisure team with a focus on improving opportunities to increase physical activity, improve health outcomes and tackle health inequalities which has been our main focus. 

A bit about me, I worked previously for the Arts Council England and Corby Borough Council before coming across to North Northamptonshire Council, I have had a wide range of roles including dance teacher, Community Sports Development Officer, Community Services Officer, Community Regeneration Officer and Principal Leisure Officer before taking up my new role within NNC. 

I do love holidays and weekends away when I can but don’t really like flying much although I did finally get to New York last year and did a cruise to Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas which was amazing, my daughter Emily has the travel bug and is doing lots of travelling this year in her gap year but reality will hit when she comes back at the end of July and has to get a job!

We have all gone through periods of change and challenges in the past few years following Covid and for our leisure team moving into a new unitary authority, any change can be an anxious time and challenging.  We have adapted our programmes and service delivery over these recent years to provide a service that is supportive and meets the needs of our community, It is exciting to see what we can achieve together in the future. I am so proud to work with all our leisure team who are dedicated and committed to provide high quality services across North Northamptonshire and l really do look forward to see what we can achieve together in the future."


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