Reviewing our leisure services

We are looking at the way we deliver our leisure services across the district, so we can make sure we are using our resources most effectively and help encourage more people to be more active more often.

As part of our leisure review, we are exploring outsourcing the management of Burntwood and Friary Grange leisure centres. We have put together a newsletter to give you a better understanding of why we're looking to outsource, the various stages of the project, the timeframe and how it could affect leisure centre users.

Download the latest newsletter on outsourcing the management of our leisure centres newsletter published in February 2017.

As part of the review, we have also given three years’ notice to withdraw from King Edward VI Leisure Centre. However, we will aim to return the leisure centre to Staffordshire County Council, for the school to manage, at the same time that we outsource the management of Burntwood and Friary Grange leisure centres. This could be as early as the start of 2018. 

The leisure review is outlined in our physical activity and sports strategy.  

We’ve also put together some frequently asked questions, and will be adding to these as the review continues. We hope you find them useful. 

Frequently asked questions

Why are we reviewing our leisure services?

We want to make sure we are using our resources most effectively and also encourage more people to be more active more often.

Will I still be able to use my local leisure centre if they are run by a trust or other leisure operator?

Yes. If a leisure operator, like a trust or leisure company, takes over the management of Friary Grange and Burntwood leisure centres, they will still be open to the public to use in much the same way as they are now.

When will you decide if the leisure centres will be run by a leisure operator?

Our shortlist of potential operators are putting their applications together, setting out how they would manage our leisure centres - and at what price - to us. The Leisure Review Project Board will meet to consider the applications and will shortlist the best two or three. This shortlist will develop their proposals throughout the spring and summer of 2017. The final submissions are due at the start of September 2017. Our Cabinet will decide whether to outsource and if so will select the preferred operator in October 2017. If approved by Cabinet, the contract will be completed and the management of the leisure centres will transfer to the chosen operator. Leisure staff will transfer over as well. We'll retain ownership of the centres, which the operator will lease.

Why are you withdrawing from the King Edward VI Leisure Centre lease?

In April 2016 we gave King Edward VI School and Staffordshire County Council three years' notice of our intention to withdraw from the lease of King Edward VI Leisure Centre. It' unusual for a city the size of Lichfield to have two leisure centres managed by a district council. Since 2014, the school has had exclusive weekly daytime use of King Edward VI Leisure Centre and public opening hours, during weekend evenings, have also reduced in response to customer demand.

What does this mean for King Edward VI Leisure Centre customers and clubs?

We have given three years' notice, so the change won't happen immediately. We are in discussions with the school about whether the centre's facilities will be available for club/community use in the future. This type of arrangement is commonplace at schools across the district, and it will be for the school to decide on community use and how it operates. Our lease requires us to replace the synthetic turf pitch before we withdraw and we will be consulting existing and potential users of the pitch before we carry out the works. Leisure centre customers who use King Edward VI Leisure Centre will be encouraged to use our other centres at Friary Grange in Lichfield and at Burntwood.

What does this mean for people who work at King Edward VI Leisure Centre?

Most staff work across both King Edward VI and Friary Grange leisure centres. While the impact on them is not yet known, as the exit from the lease will take up to three years, it is envisaged the impact will be limited.

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