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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Final decision due on leisure delivery plan

A final decision will be made on the budget for transferring leisure facilities and functions provided by Denbighshire County Council to an alternative delivery model.

The cost and net savings for a ‘Council-owned not-for-profit trading company’ is to be discussed by the Council’s Cabinet on July 30th.

The business plan has previously been approved by Full Council.

The Council-owned trading company would enable the leisure service to trade more commercially to help sustain the facilities, as well as making substantial savings for the Council in the first year of operation.

The facilities proposed to be included are the county’s seven leisure centres as well as the Prestatyn Nova, SC2, Rhyl Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl Events Arena and events function, North Wales Bowls Centre, Rhyl Town Hall, Ruthin Craft Centre, Llangollen Pavilion, 1891, CafĂ© R (Ruthin) and Strategic Leisure.

Whilst the consideration of an alternative delivery model (ADM) is new to the Council, many other councils across the UK are already using similar ADMs to deliver a range of services, and the Council has engaged extensively with these other Councils as the Denbighshire model has been developed through the various stages.

Cllr Bobby Feeley, lead member for Well-being and Independence, said: “We are very proud of our leisure services in Denbighshire which have a positive impact on residents’ health and well-being.
“Investment by the Council over the past ten years has seen visitor numbers increase and ensured facilities are first class and up-to-date.

“Moving to an ADM will ensure the company continues to deliver a high-quality leisure provision long into the future, but as the company would be solely owned by the Council it will be the Council that sets the priorities for the company and the level of service expected.

“Therefore the public should see very little difference in terms of the quality of the services provided or the ‘look and feel’ of the facilities.”

Cllr Julian Thompson-Hill, lead member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “We have recognised the need for on-going investment at times of significant financial challenge. We have also listened to the public as the demand for leisure sessions grew and continues to grow across the Council.

“This model will allow for the continued innovative and entrepreneurial approach to commercial leisure long into the future.”

If the plan is supported by Cabinet the ADM implementation process will be started by the Council with the company expected to be operational April next year.

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