Search

Trust plan for south Norfolk leisure facilities moves a step closer

10:05 24 April 2012

Wymondham Leisure Centre

Wymondham Leisure Centre

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

The prospect of south Norfolk’s leisure facilities being run by a trust moved a step closer at a meeting yesterday when councillors backed the plan.

South Norfolk Council’s leisure and neighbourhoods overview sub-committee agreed the council’s officers should look at two options for reducing the cost burden of running the centres in Wymondham, Long Stratton and Diss and ensuring investment in improved sports equipment.

One choice was to retain in-house management, meaning the council would continue running the centres, while the other was to link up with King’s Lynn Borough Council to set up a leisure trust to run leisure centres in south and west Norfolk, which would lease the centres from the council and qualify for reductions in business rates and VAT.

A report prepared by council officer Rob Adams stated over £250,000 savings could be made on VAT and business rates by pursuing the trust option, which would also provide opportunities for broadening the leisure provisions, and opening up funding streams that would not be available by keeping the in-house model.

Mr Adams’ report also said there would be start-up costs of £83,000 for the trust model.

Figures showed the number of people using the gyms had increased considerably over the last four years, with consequent increases in revenue. At Wymondham Leisure Centre, the income for 2008/9 was £702,281, but by 2011/12 this figure had risen to £946,617, while at the same time annual employee costs had fallen from £578,083 in 2008/9 to £515,686 in 2011/12.

This rise in the numbers pursuing healthy lifestyles had led to a drop in obesity levels to below the national average, with 24.5pc of south Norfolk adults believed to be obese, 8.7pc of reception year children and 16.8pc of year six children.

However, Mr Adams told yesterday’s meeting over £200,000 would be needed to replace equipment which was out-of-date and prone to breaking down, while the leisure centre in Victoria Road, Diss needed re-developing, potentially at another site.

Councillor Glyn Walden, who represents Diss, said a possible site had been earmarked on land south of Park Road in Diss for a new leisure centre and swimming pool.

Councillor Lisa Neal, who represents Poringland, raised concerns the council would lose control over decisions affecting the centres if a trust was established, but Mr Adams gave assurances there could be council representation on the trust. Other trustees would come from the community.

Mr Adams said: “There have been many success stories, but to carry on delivering growth in the current economic climate, there will be many challenging times ahead. There needs to be a lot of investment in leisure centres.”

1 comment

  • If this is to be a charitable trust, there are three points needing to be answered; 1) surely they are well above the VAT threshold of £77,000 worth of taxable supplies? and 2) where do all the anticipated savings come from, and have they been confirmed by HMRC? and 3) what happens if the council stops its discretionary relief on rates, in order to gain revenue, and could they be seen to be impartial?

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Other news

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Another Norfolk council has joined Norwich, North Norfolk and Breckland in rejecting the government’s devolution proposals.

Yesterday, 15:10
BTO cuckoo, Coo

Bird lovers are being offered the chance to play their part in a scientific migration study by paying £3,000 to name a new study cuckoo.

Yesterday, 11:30
The parachute jumpers for TW Gaze are made up of Scott Parke, Daniel Woods, Robert Kinsella, Lisa West & Louis Smith

They are more used to going under the hammer than hurtling through the air above an airfield.

Yesterday, 10:52
Gislingham Primary School have introduced a puppy to help children interact and improve their reading skills. Headteacher Julie Welham with Tilly.

Meet Tilly, the newest arrival walking the corridors and joining youngsters in the classroom at a north Suffolk school.

Most Read

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Simply Halal in Banham. Photograph Simon Parker

A vet and meat hygiene inspector have been suspended from their duties at Norfolk slaughterhouse Simply Halal over concerns for the welfare of animals.

Read more
Norwich
Yesterday, 21:08
Royal Norfolk Show 2016


Long service awards

Lifetimes of loyalty contributing more than 600 years of combined service to the county’s agricultural industry were honoured at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Read more
United Kingdom
Monday, May 9, 2016
MP George Freeman officially opens the new climbing wall at Morley Village and Sports Hall. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

After 12 months of planning, fundraising and hard work, a climbing wall in south Norfolk has welcomed its first adventurous users.

Read more
South Norfolk Council
Yesterday, 10:52
Gislingham Primary School have introduced a puppy to help children interact and improve their reading skills. Headteacher Julie Welham with Tilly.

Meet Tilly, the newest arrival walking the corridors and joining youngsters in the classroom at a north Suffolk school.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:42
Pupils from Robins and Wrens class visiting the woods in Banham. Picture: Angela Sharpe

Pupils and staff from Banham Primary School have spent an adventurous day in the woods.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up