Serco named as the new partner to manage leisure centres
Shropshire Council has today (Tuesday 3 July 2012) confirmed Serco, working as managing agents to Shropshire Community Leisure Trust Ltd as its new partner who, as from summer 2012, will manage five of its leisure centres across the county as part of a new approach to the delivery of leisure activities.
Serco, a major national leisure services provider, was selected as the preferred bidder with the Trust from a shortlist of three at the council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 18 April 2012. And, following detailed contractual negotiations, the company has now been awarded the contract to manage Market Drayton Swimming Centre, Oswestry Leisure Centre, Shrewsbury Sports Village and Indoor Bowls Hall, Whitchurch Swimming Centre and the Quarry Fitness and Swimming Centre in Shrewsbury.
The new contract will run for 10 years, with an option to extend this for a further five years, subject to the Trust’s and Serco’s performance.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for active and healthy lifestyles, said:
“We are pleased to announce Serco as our new partner. Their tender was a clear winner which surpassed others in both quality and price – this is extremely good news for council tax payers, sports fans and local communities alike.
“We are extremely passionate about providing excellent public services to our residents, and the appointment of Serco will offer better value for money for local people and guarantee the ongoing provision of excellent leisure services within some of our main market towns.
Serco have promised significant new capital investment in the Council’s leisure facilities, particularly in improved fitness provision and will work at a community level to support everyone to be more active, for example through the delivery of “exercise on prescription” schemes and pricing subsidies to vulnerable people.”
Keith Thomas, Managing Director of Serco Leisure, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to have been selected with the Trust as the council’s partner. Our mission in Shropshire is a simple one – provide active and healthy lifestyles for all, in a safe, warm, clean, friendly, fun environment for the local community, at an affordable cost. To achieve this and on behalf of the Trust, we will introduce a programme of continuous innovation, capital investment and improvement to enhance the value of both the facilities and the programmes”.
Existing council staff will transfer to the new provider under TUPE regulations on their current terms and conditions of employment.
The recommendation to seek bids from other leisure service providers to run the council’s main leisure facilities was agreed by the council’s Cabinet at their meeting on 16 March 2011 and followed an objective, external review of how the council’s leisure services could be redesigned to provide better value-for-money and an improved experience for the local people who use them.
The council will keep a close involvement with the performance of these leisure centres and any changes, such as opening hours or prices, will have to be agreed through rigorous monitoring arrangements.