The new leisure centre for Wyre Forest will save the District Council over £390,000 a year. The announcement of the annual savings comes on the day (Friday 9th January 2015) the Council and Places for People Leisure (PfP) signed the 25 year contract for the leisure provider to design, build, operate and maintain the facilities.
The savings will be achieved because the new centre is more sustainable and the contractor will be paying the Council a management fee to run the facility. Costs to run the centres at Stourport Sports Centre and Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre are continuing to rise each year as the facilities are ageing.
The centre at Silverwoods is costing £11.9 million to build. In November 2014 the Council was awarded £2 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England towards these costs. The grant was awarded to the Council because the project guarantees high quality leisure provision for the next 25 years with excellent sporting and health outcomes. This grant means it will reduce the ongoing cost to the tax payer for every year of the contract.
Councillor Marcus Hart, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council said:
“The signing of the contract is a significant milestone in this exciting project. The Council could not continue subsidising the leisure centres to such a level and they are getting more expensive to manage and run each year. The Leisure Centre review in 2011 made it very clear that a new leisure centre is the most cost effective option. This project is going to save the Council and tax payers’ money and give the people of Wyre Forest first class leisure facilities. We are now looking forward to seeing the design.”
PfP was awarded the contract following a competitive tender process. The Council selected their scheme which includes additional facilities than was set out in the tender specification because it will achieve greater savings and offer high quality leisure opportunities to Wyre Forest residents.
Peter Kirkham Development Director at PfP explains: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Wyre Forest PPP to design and develop the new facilities for the residents of Wyre Forest. We will continue to work hard to get more people from the local community active and participating in sport. We are confident that when the new facility opens in 2016 it will exceed all expectations and provide a hub of sporting and leisure activity for all residents of the district”.
The leisure centre will have a sports hall, six lane 25m swimming pool, learner pool, fitness suite, dance studios, climbing wall and small-sided outdoor football pitches. The centre will also have a cafe with viewing areas, a double height children’s adventure play area and a health suite with sauna and steam room.
The planning application has been submitted and it is expected to be determined by the Planning Committee in March 2015.
Work on the new leisure centre is planned to start in Spring 2015 and it is due to open in Summer 2016. The authority’s current leisure centres will be operating as normal until the new centre opens. Details are available at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/leisurecentres.
Picture shows (L-R): Jane Alexander, Wyre Forest District Council's Principal Solicitor, Peter Kirkham, Development Director of Places for People Leisure, Chairman of Wyre Forest District Council, Cllr Stephen Williams and Sandra Dodd, Places for People's Finance Director.