A landmark agreement that will see Parkwood Leisure Ltd take over the running of Erewash Borough Council’s leisure services has been marked with a ceremonial contract signing.
The council’s Leader, Councillor Carol Hart, is pictured with Parkwood’s Operations Director, Glen Hall, during the signing of the 10-year contract at Ilkeston Town Hall.
The milestone moment confirms that from 1 February Parkwood will manage the council’s leisure services at Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Rutland Sports Park and Pewitt Golf Course in Ilkeston, as well as West Park Leisure Centre in Long Eaton and Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre.
The council will retain ownership of the leisure facilities, meaning Parkwood will lease the facilities and be in place to manage and deliver a leisure service on behalf of the council.
It was agreed to outsource leisure at a meeting in November, with councillors saying the deal will bring substantial savings at a time when local authorities continue to face financially-challenging times.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure at Erewash Borough Council, says:
“We are on the threshold of a new era for leisure services here in Erewash and the formal signing of the contract is a significant moment. It is also an exciting one and we know Parkwood have ambitious plans to invest in and develop the facilities on offer.
“We see working in partnership with Parkwood as an innovative decision that will bring significant savings for us but – most importantly – it will mean a better deal for our residents and leisure-users. That has been at the heart of this process throughout.”
Following the signing, Parkwood’s Operations Director, Mr Hall, said:
“We are delighted to be operating these, already impressive, leisure facilities on behalf of Erewash Borough Council. We have over 20 years’ experience in helping local communities to be happier and healthier and we look forward to achieving this throughout these five leisure centres. Parkwood, our staff, and I, look forward to working with the council encouraging activity, fitness and wellbeing across Erewash.”
Improvements to be made by Parkwood will include the expansion and improvement of gym facilities; new gym, spin and weight lifting equipment; improvements to customer retail and vending facilities; and the introduction of a number of new activities.
Outsourcing the provision of the leisure service will save the council approximately £6 million over ten years. Approximately £1.3 million is expected to be invested to improve facilities for residents with Parkwood Leisure providing £800,000 and a further £500,000 earmarked for upgrading the leisure centres through a loan from the council, which will be paid back over the term of the contract.