Sunday, February 25, 2024

Council agrees financial support for LeisureSK

The immediate future of South Kesteven’s Council-owned leisure centres is secure following a payment of £150,000 by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC).

This will ensure the continued delivery of leisure centre services at The Meres in Grantham, Stamford Leisure Pool and Bourne Leisure Centre.

The decision was taken by the SKDC Cabinet yesterday (Thursday January 18) as a forward payment on an overall additional funding request of £273,000, which leaves a balance of £123,000 agreed to be allocated by the Council to cover the rest of the financial year.

Deputy Leader Cllr Ashley Baxter said: “We are committed to keeping leisure facilities available across the district and we have no intention of allowing the centres to close.

“I’d like to send a message of reassurance to all leisure staff across the centres, that we are grateful for the work they do and we wholly intend to keep the centres moving.”

Council Leader Cllr Richard Cleaver said: “LeisureSK Ltd forecasts a requirement for a £773,000 management sum for the current year, which is £273,000 more than was originally budgeted for.

“We are aware how urgently these additional funds are required, and as a result asked Cabinet to approve the initial payment of £150,000 and allow the business to continue for the benefit of the people of South Kesteven and beyond.

“The Deputy Leader, Cllr Ashley Baxter, and I are now requesting an independent assessment of the existing governance model and operational financial management controls to ensure they are fit for purpose and effective.

“We have written to Leisure SK Ltd to ask for a plan to be drawn up on how the reliance on Council funding can be reduced, with the requirement to reduce the requested management fee in 2024-25.”

Cllrs Cleaver and Baxter will continue to work with Council officers to review finances, and level of financial support to LeisureSK Ltd, including regular budget monitoring reports to the end of this financial year, 2023-24.

LeisureSK Ltd is an SKDC-owned company contracted by the Council to provide leisure services on its behalf.

 

Image credit: Google maps

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