Ten jobs have been axed at Burnley’s new leisure trust in the face of increased competition from budget gyms.
The trust, which runs St Peter’s and Padiham leisure centres, was set up by Burnley Council last year as part of measures expected to save in the region of £300,000 a year.
However, the likes of Lifestyle Fitness, DW Fitness and Xercise4less have led to Burnley Leisure Trust facing a shortfall of £218,000 in its inaugural year.
Councillors are now being asked to help meet this amount by releasing £83,000 from a contingency budget set up to mitigate the risk of nearby competition and a further £135,000 from general council underspends.
Redundancy costs totalling £154,000 will be shared equally by the council and leisure trust management.
Coun. Bea Foster, Executive member for leisure and recreation, said establishing the leisure trust had proved extremely challenging but would be worthwhile in the future.
“It has been a very challenging time in the sense that the other gyms, the low-budget ones, have opened.
“It will still make the council savings in the long term. The council would still be in the same position now whether we had the trust or not.”
Burnley Leisure has reassured the council that this restructuring will have no adverse impact on service provision, workforce characteristics and service standards.
Coun. Foster added: “St Peter’s Centre and Padiham Leisure are the places in this borough that families and everyone can go to swim, and take part in sports and activities from five a side to badminton.
“The gyms and fitness classes are second to none, and personal instruction and support from highly-qualified people is all included.
“Introductory offers and other great deals mean that more people are now joining up and going to activities at Burnley Leisure.”