Following a thorough procurement process, the council has awarded its Leisure Management Contract to Fusion Lifestyle, a charity that operates 85 facilities nationally.
The new contractor has committed to offering varied activities, including more outdoor activities in the summer, the promotion of healthier lifestyles, discounts on certain activities through the Council’s planned Advantage Card, a new ‘Tennis in the Parks’ scheme at Priory and Chalkwell Parks and an extension of a successful diving programme in partnership with the Amateur Swimmer Association.
Under the contract, Fusion Lifestyle will pay the Council for the use of its facilities, generating a new revenue stream that will put an end to the service needing a council-tax funded subsidy. This will result in a budget saving of over £4m in ten years.
The Contract includes the management and operation of the following leisure centres:
· Belfairs Swim Centre (BSC) – Dual Use Site with School
· Chase Sports & Fitness Centre (CSFC) – Dual Use Site with School
· Shoeburyness Leisure Centre (SLC) - Dual Use Site with School
· Southend Swimming & Diving Centre (SSDC) @ Southend Leisure & Tennis Centre (SLTC)
Cllr Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development, said: “The new contract is great news for the residents of Southend-on-Sea as we will be able to deliver a much enhanced service and take away the requirement for a tax payer funded subsidy.
“The existing pricing structure will remain in place and all leisure staff will keep their jobs with the new contractor.
“By making leisure services self-sufficient, we can ensure the future of this important and popular service but also better protect other much-valued front-line council services at a time of austerity. Officers have done a marvellous job to take this contract to the market and achieve such a great result.
“We would also like to thank Parkwood Leisure and its subcontractor Legacy Leisure for their professional service over the past 15 years and recognise their many achievements, including opening our state-of-the art swimming facility in November 2010 and hosting Team GB for pre-Olympic training in 2012. We now look forward to welcoming Fusion on board in July.”
Peter Kay, Chief Executive of Fusion Lifestyle, said “We are absolutely delighted to be entering into this long-term partnership with the Council and we look forward to working with the existing staff at the leisure facilities to deliver facility and service improvements.
“Fusion, as a charity, is dedicated to delivering high-quality community facilities and services, which are sustainable whilst also being inclusive and accessible. This means that we will be keen to encourage participation in sport and physical activity by all members of the local communities in the Borough.”
The new arrangements with Fusion Lifestyle will be in place from 1 July 2015. All existing staff will transfer over to Fusion Lifestyle. Centre users will be kept informed during the transition period.