Council-backed leisure firm reduces losses but still records deficit
- Credit: Archant
Huntingdonshire District Council has reported that its leisure centre management firm is failing to make a profit.
At a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel for Social Well-Being on September 2 it was revealed that in a financial report of One Leisure for the year 2014/2015 the council run firm had a deficit of £61,000.
Executive member for commercial activities Councillor Robin Howe said: “Our aim is to eventually deliver a service to the community at no extra cost to the community; it should not be a paid subsidised service.”
In a review by the leisure and health department at the district council it was found that One Leisure Sawtry had been a “significant drain” on the firm with a loss of £183k last year.
Head of leisure and health Jayne Wisely said: “We have carried out a review of how people use it, and how often people use the facilities.”
The outcome of the review means that there will be reduced opening times and a consolidation of management between Ramsey and Sawtry which is aimed to reduce costs.
It was also revealed that Sawtry Academy is being given the opportunity to use the facilities.
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To help save money and cut the deficit a review of staff has been carried across the five sites including Huntingdon, Ramsey, St Ives, St Neots and Sawtry.
As a result staff at Ramsey and Sawtry will be combined with a reduction in costs of £130k.
There has also been a reshuffle of managers throughout the sites with three centre manager posts being replaced by a business manager of operations and a business manager of development.
The report states: “The management restructure is expected to reduce annual expenses by £147k, however this full amount will not be realised within this financial year.”
At the meeting it was noted that the £61k deficit is an improvement on the 2013/14 out-turn of a net deficit of £375k which is a shift of £314k.
“We have a way to go before we can call it a successful business,” added Cllr Howe.
The report went before cabinet last Thursday (September 17) to update them on the progress of One Leisure.