Decision details

Enhancing leisure opportunities for everyone (Key Decision)

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decision:

Decision:

 

The Cabinet:

 

1.            Formally endorses the Leader’s announcement, made in 2018, to improve and increase the leisure provision in South Kesteven

2.            Endorses the assessment of delivery options for each of the buildings, for the proposed enhanced leisure offer

3.            Approves the exploration of options regarding the operation of the current leisure centres and the development of a business case for new operating models including the formation of a Charitable Trust

4.            Approves the drafting of a Sports and Physical Activity Strategy and a Cycling Strategy as part of the overarching Cultural Strategy

5.            Recommends to Council that a Budget commitment of £11,000 is sought for the development of a new Cycling Strategy through Sustrans

6.            Recommends to Council that a budget commitment of £130,000 is sought from the local priorities reserve, to secure appropriate resource to progress the programme to enhance leisure opportunities for everyone (£30,000 to commission InvestSK to commence engagement with the community and sports groups across the district and £100,000 to deliver the programme to the next stage)

7.            Approves a full consultation exercise around the options for Grantham leisure centre

 

Reasons for decision

 

1.            The report of the Leader of the Council on enhancing leisure opportunities for everyone

2.            The benefits provided by leisure in respect of health and wellbeing, education, community development and its contribution to the local economy

3.            The programme was expected to commence in the 2020/21 financial year

4.            A feasibility study produced by Mace consultants for all of the existing leisure centre buildings including a condition survey (appendix 1 to the report of the Leader of the Council)

5.            Details of community benefits for current leisure facilities and proposed mixes as set out in appendix 2 to the report of the Leader of the Council

6.            The existing leisure centres in Bourne and the Deepings were shared with local schools

7.            The Council would undertake consultation with all other interested parties on proposals for the new leisure facilities

8.            There were established swimming clubs in the Deepings, Bourne and Grantham

9.            Leisure facilities were currently provided by 1Life; the contract was due to end on 3 January 2021

10.         It was the Council’s intention to draft a Sports and Physical Activity Strategy as part of the overarching Cultural Strategy for the district

11.         Consultation that was underway on the Council’s Cultural Strategy

12.         InvestSK had recently appointed a Sports Development Officer to deliver a Sport Strategy

13.         The Council had engaged with Sustrans to develop cycling and walking strategies

14.         The budgets for each centre would continue to climb as required repair work increased and equipment reached the end of its useful life; the effect on service provision would trigger penalties under the current operator model and 1Life would be unable to benefit from income from facilities that were no longer in operation

 

Other options considered and rejected

 

Grantham Meres Leisure Centre

 

·         Extended life

 

With the replacement of key equipment and a general overhaul of the existing installations the serviceable life of the building could be extended for a further 5 years. However, there would be no improvement in the range of facilities offered.

 

The Council had an annual revenue budget for the repairs, maintenance and costs at the Meres leisure centre and the stadium of £135,000. The additional revenue spent since 2016/17 to 2017/18 against the original budget was £66,000. In the financial year to date, it was estimated that there would be a £5,000 overspend. With the age of the mechanical and electrical services it was anticipated that these costs would increase significantly year-on-year as heating systems and pool equipment dates, until the services were replaced at significant cost.

 

Even a planned maintenance/replacement programme would lead to the loss of facilities for varying amounts of time which would therefore reduce the range of facilities on offer to our residents.

 

·         Refurbishment and remodelling

 

To extend the life of the facility beyond 5 years would require a complete replacement of the mechanical and electrical installations (although the photovoltaics and combined heat and power plant could potentially be re-used). The feasibility study assessed latent demand (i.e. demand for leisure centre uses that were not currently being met) and identified that the gym could be re-modelled to provide extra stations (from 75 to 90). Alternative (or additional) uses, for example a trampoline park, could also be provided in some of the existing space within the centre and the changing facilities could be updated. The estimated cost of this option was circa £5-6m.

 

Bourne Leisure Centre

 

·         Extended life

 

With the replacement of key equipment and a general overhaul of the existing installations the serviceable life of the building could be extended for a further 5 years. However, there would be no improvement in the quality or range of facilities on offer and the cost of these works would be around £2m.

 

The Council had an annual revenue budget for the repairs, maintenance and costs at Bourne leisure centre of £50,000. The additional revenue spent in 2016/17 to 2017/18 against budget was £8,000 overspent and year to date it was £4,000 overspent. With the age of the services it was anticipated that these costs would increase significantly every year and that ‘downtime’ of certain facilities during periods of repair would be inevitable. There could be a decrease in customer satisfaction levels should this happen.

 

The Deepings Leisure Centre

 

·         Refurbishment and Re-modelling

 

The centre could theoretically be refurbished (through a phased approach) but the site was very constrained. This would result in a significant break in leisure service provision and would add to the cost of the works. Matters would be further complicated as the sports hall was used by the school for examinations and there would need to be consultation with the school on any future plans for this site. A similar size leisure building footprint was refurbished recently in a phased approach for a local authority and cost £4m but with the need to update the mechanical and electrical and pool installations this would be likely to increase this to £5m.

 

The Council had an annual revenue budget for the repairs, maintenance and costs at the Deepings leisure centre of £80,000. The additional revenue spent in 2016/17 to 2017/18 was £32,000 and year to date a £9,000 overspend had been projected. It was considered that Option 1 would be prohibitively complex and costly as the centre required new mechanical and electrical equipment as well as an upgrade to gas. It was still to be determined whether a connection was possible, and the capital was likely to be significant. The refurbishment works would severely restrict leisure provision in the town for an extended period.

 

Stamford Leisure Centre

 

·         Extended life

 

The general appearance of the centre was dated, but with some key replacement of mechanical and electrical installations equipment and a general overhaul the serviceable life of the centre could be extended for a further 5 years but this would not improve the quality or range of facilities offered and would likely be around £2m.

 

The Council had an annual revenue budget for the repairs, maintenance and costs at Stamford leisure centre of £43,000.  In years 2016/17 and 2017/2018 Stamford leisure centre was £32,000 underspent against budget but year to date the centre was £13,000 overspent.  With the age of the facilities it was anticipated that these costs would increase significantly every year and that ad-hoc repairs would be required causing disruption to customers.

 

Whilst the life of the current centre could be extended, this would not allow the current – or future - demand for facilities to be met. This could only be achieved if the centre were to be significantly extended.

Publication date: 08/03/2019

Date of decision: 07/03/2019

Decided at meeting: 07/03/2019 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: