Burnley and Padiham leisure facilities to be run by new Trust?

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A LEISURE trust could be set up in Burnley to run some of the town’s most popular facilities as council bosses try to save up to £5m. over the next two years.

Burnley Borough Council’s Executive committee will be asked to approve the setting up of a trust, for St Peter’s Leisure Centre, Padiham Leisure Centre and Burnley Mechanics, at its next meeting on April 2nd.

Town hall chiefs said the move would be the best way to keep its services and minimise the impact on staff.

An external financial assessment has confirmed that a move to a leisure trust will save approximately £300,000 each year for the council, while maintaining core leisure facilities and provision.

The report recommends that the three facilities move to a leisure trust, which could be in operation from April 1st 2014.

The trust would be an independent registered charity but the council would retain some responsibilities, including maintenance and repairs.

Coun. John Harbour, Executive member for leisure, said: “The council is facing significant financial pressures, as a result of reduced funding from central government.

“However the Executive plan, wherever possible, to minimise impact on services, and the leisure trust option enables us to secure the long-term provision of our main facilities, while at the same time, generating £300,000 worth of annual savings to the council.

“Members and officers have visited other trusts and their experience has been that customers still receive good quality services, which in the vast majority of cases are provided by the same staff who used to work for the council. We are committed to ensuring that the new trust will be a success and continue to provide excellent services.”