West Lindsey District Council has revealed ambitious plans to transform and enhance leisure provision across the whole of the district, which includes the building of a brand new dry leisure facility in Market Rasen.
There will also be a large scale re-development of the current West Lindsey Leisure Centre in Gainsborough and, on top of this, the council has secured extra provision for an outreach service which will provide activities for residents in their community.
Coun John Matthews, Mayor of Market Rasen Town Council said: “Market Rasen Town Council is delighted with the decision and the confidence West Lindsey District Council has shown in Market Rasen.
“They have recognised the need for a facility like this to support the people of the town and surrounding area and the provision of significant financial investment can only help local employment and our local economy.”
The proposed centre in Market Rasen will replace the existing offers at both De Aston Sports Centre and Caistor Sports Hall.
The bespoke centre will comprise health and fitness facilities;a sports hall; a multi-use area, which can accommodate group exercise classes, and a 3G outdoor pitch.
As previously reported, the council is facing tough financial challenges as it aims to balance the budget and provide services that residents can afford.
Coun Sheila Bibb, Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee at the council, said: “Our budget has come under increasing pressure in recent years as grants from central government have reduced by £4 million since 2012.
“This is only going to get worse as they stop completely in 2019.
“Previously, leisure provision has cost the council a significant amount of money. Under the new arrangements - not only will the service be transformed and enhanced – but the income provided will ease the pressure on other council services.
“This dynamic partnership will provide suitable services to the community to help people lead healthy and active lives. It will include more opportunities for rehabilitation, exercise on referral and specialist equipment for different ages.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the results.”
The council carried out a competitive tendering process to bring together the right partnership to transform and revitalize leisure provision in the district.
The Council’s Corporate Policy and Resources Committee recently made the decision, subject to call in, to award the new leisure contract to Sport and Leisure Management (SLM) who trade as Everyone Active.
Coun Paul Howitt-Cowan, the member champion for leisure, culture and heritage at the council welcomed the news.
He said: “We are delighted to announce that SLM are to be awarded this contract and we have every confidence that this will be a huge success.
“We have enjoyed a successful working partnership with SLM for nine years and we are looking forward to building on this, creating more opportunities for our residents to adopt healthy lifestyles.”
Kerry O’Neill, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We already enjoy a fantastic working relationship with the council and we look forward to developing this in the future and extending and enhancing leisure provision across the district.
“We will continue to work with the local community to offer people improved opportunities to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.”
To transform the services £7.8 million of funding will be used to improve leisure facilities and activity across the district.
This is being funded by prudential borrowing and even after taking this into account there will be a net financial benefit to the council.
The council and Everyone Active will work together to minimise the impact on service users whilst the new centre is being built.