Swindon AdvertiserCouncil name leisure lease companies in bid to save £1.5m a year (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Council name leisure lease companies in bid to save £1.5m a year

Swindon Advertiser: The Oasis' day-to-day operators Greenwich Leisure Ltd will take on several other Swindon facilities The Oasis' day-to-day operators Greenwich Leisure Ltd will take on several other Swindon facilities

THE council have announced the companies who will be leasing Swindon’s leisure and golf facilities, following several months of negotiation.

A process was started last year to move these facilities out of council control in a bid to save £1.5 million a year is subsidies.

Greenwich Leisure Limited, which operates the Oasis on a day-to-day basis, will take over the running of all the leisure aspects of the deal on 25 year leases.

They will operate Croft Sports Centre, Delta Tennis Centre, Haydon Centre, and the Link Centre with a guarantee to keep them open for at least ten years. The Dorcan Recreation Complex and Health Hydro will have stay open guarantees for five years.

If after this time GLL decide any of those sites are not financially viable they can relinquish them but the council will have first refusal.

GLL are a not-for-profit social enterprise and run 140 venues around the country, including the London Aquatics Centre and the Copper Box Arena.

Broome Manor and Highworth with golf facilities will be run by Twigmarket, who also run Trent park golf course in London.

Due to the level of investment planned these will both be on 75 years leases with 25 and 15 years keep open options respectively.

Moredon golf facility has been removed from the proposal as it is not seen as financially viable to run and will now become public space. Although the pitch and putt will remain the greens will not be maintained by the council and cabinet will be asked to look for alternative options.

There will not be any subsidies of any of the facilities. The proposal will go before cabinet who will be asked to recommend GLL and Twigmarket next week prior to the next full council meeting. If it gains approval, the leases are likely to come into effect later this year.

There had been initial fears the leases could lead to the closure of some of the less profitable venues, with the land being sold on for housing. Last week a petition with 1,600 signatures demanding the Croft playing fields were removed from the lease was handed in to the mayor following worries it could be sold on for housing.

However, council leaders have dismissed this and described it as a positive step for Swindon.

Coun Keith Williams (Con, Shaw), the cabinet member for leisure, said: “We think this is a great deal, which not only saves the council £1.5 million but also secures investment for these sites which could not happen if they remained in public ownership.

“Both GLL and Twigmarket have an excellent track record and met all our key outcomes in the bid evaluation process so I will be urging my cabinet colleagues to support the recommendations outlined in the cabinet report to maintain the fantastic leisure offer that we have in Swindon.

“The two companies specialise in their fields and have no interest in house building. That is not what they do.”

Comments (17)

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12:39pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

More houses coming up then 😳
More houses coming up then 😳 Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: -7

2:05pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Wildwestener says...

If this keeps the sites open which otherwise would have been closed then it must be a good thing. However, one fears fro the longer term future when the 10 year initial period finishes as SBC would not have the funds I'm sure to buy back the leases, freeing up the companies to sell onto housebuilders or the like if they so chose.
If this keeps the sites open which otherwise would have been closed then it must be a good thing. However, one fears fro the longer term future when the 10 year initial period finishes as SBC would not have the funds I'm sure to buy back the leases, freeing up the companies to sell onto housebuilders or the like if they so chose. Wildwestener
  • Score: -4

3:16pm Tue 17 Jun 14

GroundhogDay says...

GLL would only be taking these on if they can be run in a profitable way which begs the question - why can't the council employ the right people to run them in-house for a profit.
GLL would only be taking these on if they can be run in a profitable way which begs the question - why can't the council employ the right people to run them in-house for a profit. GroundhogDay
  • Score: 9

3:36pm Tue 17 Jun 14

lolilovegolf says...

Oh great!

This means prices will increase again!
Oh great! This means prices will increase again! lolilovegolf
  • Score: -1

3:46pm Tue 17 Jun 14

lolilovegolf says...

GroundhogDay wrote:
GLL would only be taking these on if they can be run in a profitable way which begs the question - why can't the council employ the right people to run them in-house for a profit.
TOTALLY AGREE!!
[quote][p][bold]GroundhogDay[/bold] wrote: GLL would only be taking these on if they can be run in a profitable way which begs the question - why can't the council employ the right people to run them in-house for a profit.[/p][/quote]TOTALLY AGREE!! lolilovegolf
  • Score: -1

3:47pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

Bad news is this. Tories passing the buck and lining peoples pockets as usual. Keep it publicly owned and run.
Bad news is this. Tories passing the buck and lining peoples pockets as usual. Keep it publicly owned and run. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -4

3:48pm Tue 17 Jun 14

lolilovegolf says...

We should all start a petition! If prices increase, people will not be able to afford the leisure facilities! Swindon will then become an obese, overweight nation!!!!

Then what will the council say!!!!!!??????

Please someone, stop the council! A waste of space they are!!!
We should all start a petition! If prices increase, people will not be able to afford the leisure facilities! Swindon will then become an obese, overweight nation!!!! Then what will the council say!!!!!!?????? Please someone, stop the council! A waste of space they are!!! lolilovegolf
  • Score: -3

3:56pm Tue 17 Jun 14

lolilovegolf says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Bad news is this. Tories passing the buck and lining peoples pockets as usual. Keep it publicly owned and run.
DEFINITELY AGREE, I THINK WE SHOULD START A PETITION!
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Bad news is this. Tories passing the buck and lining peoples pockets as usual. Keep it publicly owned and run.[/p][/quote]DEFINITELY AGREE, I THINK WE SHOULD START A PETITION! lolilovegolf
  • Score: -1

4:55pm Tue 17 Jun 14

NathanS93 says...

Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community.

The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre.

Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company
Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community. The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre. Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company NathanS93
  • Score: 15

5:17pm Tue 17 Jun 14

greenpacer says...

Whatever their background this should'nt be happening. The Tories ARE passing the buck and should be able to run the sites the same way as GLL if they put their minds to it. After all they reckon they are better at running the country !!
Whatever their background this should'nt be happening. The Tories ARE passing the buck and should be able to run the sites the same way as GLL if they put their minds to it. After all they reckon they are better at running the country !! greenpacer
  • Score: -3

5:50pm Tue 17 Jun 14

beach1e says...

Let the farce begin.
Let the farce begin. beach1e
  • Score: 1

7:31pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Chopper76 says...

Charitable Trust, Not for Profit. Money made as profits reinvested back into those centre under its operation!!

Community ethos, and value for money.

Need there be any other comments about why GLL should not be operating these facilities?

Could you see Kiss Gyms, Simply Gyms, David Lloyd reinvesting their profits? More like the filling the lining their pockets with their customers money!
Charitable Trust, Not for Profit. Money made as profits reinvested back into those centre under its operation!! Community ethos, and value for money. Need there be any other comments about why GLL should not be operating these facilities? Could you see Kiss Gyms, Simply Gyms, David Lloyd reinvesting their profits? More like the filling the lining their pockets with their customers money! Chopper76
  • Score: 3

7:33pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Chopper76 says...

Charitable Trust, Not for Profit. Money made as profits reinvested back into those centres under its operation!!

Community ethos, and value for money.

Need there be any other comments about why GLL should not be operating these facilities?

Could you see Kiss Gyms, Simply Gyms, David Lloyd reinvesting their profits? More like filling the lining their pockets with their customers money!
Charitable Trust, Not for Profit. Money made as profits reinvested back into those centres under its operation!! Community ethos, and value for money. Need there be any other comments about why GLL should not be operating these facilities? Could you see Kiss Gyms, Simply Gyms, David Lloyd reinvesting their profits? More like filling the lining their pockets with their customers money! Chopper76
  • Score: 1

8:34pm Tue 17 Jun 14

lolilovegolf says...

Chopper76 wrote:
Charitable Trust, Not for Profit. Money made as profits reinvested back into those centres under its operation!!

Community ethos, and value for money.

Need there be any other comments about why GLL should not be operating these facilities?

Could you see Kiss Gyms, Simply Gyms, David Lloyd reinvesting their profits? More like filling the lining their pockets with their customers money!
YES AGREE, BUT THE COUNCILS PRICES ARE MUCH CHEAPER!
[quote][p][bold]Chopper76[/bold] wrote: Charitable Trust, Not for Profit. Money made as profits reinvested back into those centres under its operation!! Community ethos, and value for money. Need there be any other comments about why GLL should not be operating these facilities? Could you see Kiss Gyms, Simply Gyms, David Lloyd reinvesting their profits? More like filling the lining their pockets with their customers money![/p][/quote]YES AGREE, BUT THE COUNCILS PRICES ARE MUCH CHEAPER! lolilovegolf
  • Score: -3

9:11pm Tue 17 Jun 14

GroundhogDay says...

NathanS93 wrote:
Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community.

The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre.

Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company
But they wouldn't be taking them on if they don't think they can run them at a profit. They can't run centres at a loss or they'd have to close them. So why can't the council run them at a profit?

They are council assets. Which means they belong to the people of Swindon. The population has contributed through decades of council tax for these facilities to be built and maintained. The council is now giving them away. That's the problem.
[quote][p][bold]NathanS93[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community. The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre. Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company[/p][/quote]But they wouldn't be taking them on if they don't think they can run them at a profit. They can't run centres at a loss or they'd have to close them. So why can't the council run them at a profit? They are council assets. Which means they belong to the people of Swindon. The population has contributed through decades of council tax for these facilities to be built and maintained. The council is now giving them away. That's the problem. GroundhogDay
  • Score: -1

12:55am Wed 18 Jun 14

mikesgta says...

NathanS93 wrote:
Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community.

The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre.

Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company
" the council wrote to the 25,000 Swindon-Card holders to inform them that once their card had expired, they will not be valid at the leisure centre"

Well I beg to differ about the prices not going up for most families on minimum/low pay the Oasis for swimming has now been pushed outside of what they can afford without the use of the Swindon card discount. Its been turned into a big gym where monthly subscription charges are what matters and not about providing affordable sports and leisure to the people of Swindon.
[quote][p][bold]NathanS93[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community. The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre. Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company[/p][/quote]" the council wrote to the 25,000 Swindon-Card holders to inform them that once their card had expired, they will not be valid at the leisure centre" Well I beg to differ about the prices not going up for most families on minimum/low pay the Oasis for swimming has now been pushed outside of what they can afford without the use of the Swindon card discount. Its been turned into a big gym where monthly subscription charges are what matters and not about providing affordable sports and leisure to the people of Swindon. mikesgta
  • Score: 4

12:01pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Heart1969 says...

mikesgta wrote:
NathanS93 wrote:
Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community.

The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre.

Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company
" the council wrote to the 25,000 Swindon-Card holders to inform them that once their card had expired, they will not be valid at the leisure centre"

Well I beg to differ about the prices not going up for most families on minimum/low pay the Oasis for swimming has now been pushed outside of what they can afford without the use of the Swindon card discount. Its been turned into a big gym where monthly subscription charges are what matters and not about providing affordable sports and leisure to the people of Swindon.
Do you even use the Oasis mikesgta? I swim there often with my kids and I can assure you that the only increase on the swimming prices is the normal annual rise that you used to have under the council, in fact they didn't change this year at all. You're right that you can't use your swindon card however there is an equvilant card available just for the Oasis which gives you the same discounts that the swindon card did.
[quote][p][bold]mikesgta[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NathanS93[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems to be forgetting GLL are a not for profit organisation who specialize in taking over at risk Council Leisure Facilities to improve the leisure offering for the community. The prices at the Oasis have not been increased and offer better value than most Leisure Centre's and Gyms, Especially with the Brand New Gym and Refurbishment of the Centre. Everyone seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually knowing the background of the company[/p][/quote]" the council wrote to the 25,000 Swindon-Card holders to inform them that once their card had expired, they will not be valid at the leisure centre" Well I beg to differ about the prices not going up for most families on minimum/low pay the Oasis for swimming has now been pushed outside of what they can afford without the use of the Swindon card discount. Its been turned into a big gym where monthly subscription charges are what matters and not about providing affordable sports and leisure to the people of Swindon.[/p][/quote]Do you even use the Oasis mikesgta? I swim there often with my kids and I can assure you that the only increase on the swimming prices is the normal annual rise that you used to have under the council, in fact they didn't change this year at all. You're right that you can't use your swindon card however there is an equvilant card available just for the Oasis which gives you the same discounts that the swindon card did. Heart1969
  • Score: 4

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