Five leisure facilities run by Erewash Borough Council look set to be outsourced to an independent leisure provider.
Councillors at a Full Council meeting on Thursday 8 November gave the green light to awarding a 10-year contract to the preferred bidder - which cannot be named at this stage for legal reasons, but is a well-established company that has an extensive portfolio of clients and has a very good reputation within the industry.
The leisure facilities involved are Long Eaton’s West Park Leisure Centre, Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre; and Ilkeston’s Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Rutland Sports Park and Pewit Golf Course.
The council intends to retain ownership of the leisure facilities, meaning that the proposed bidder will lease the facilities and be in place to manage and deliver a leisure service on behalf of the council.
If the contract is given the go-ahead, more than £1 million is expected to be invested to provide improved facilities for Erewash residents – with up to £500,000 provided by the council and the rest from the bidder’s own funds. This investment would include expanded and improved gym facilities, new gym, spin and weightlifting equipment, plus new activities.
It is estimated that outsourcing the provision of the leisure service will save the council approximately £6 million over 10 years or £600,000 a year. It is hoped that the contract, if given the green light, will start in the New Year.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“Our residents and leisure customers have been at the heart of this process throughout. There has been a commitment to achieve two key aims – to ensure the leisure facilities on offer are invested in and improved and that we, as a council, achieve the important savings we need in these financially challenging times.
“If this contract is awarded to the proposed bidder, we believe those aims will be more than achieved and customers will see enhanced and new facilities. This bidder has exciting ideas to develop facilities, which will be unveiled in due course.”
The council has built into the proposed contract a protection for a number of local clubs and groups as well as an agreement that prices will be frozen for a minimum of six months, while certain concessionary prices will have further protection.