New move for centre

Pindar Leisure Centre sports field. 120440b
Pindar Leisure Centre sports field. 120440b

COUNCILLORS have approved a move to take back control over the future management of Pindar Leisure Centre.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Scarborough Council’s Cabinet after George Pindar Community Sports College gave notice that they no longer wanted to run the centre.

View of Pindar Leisure centre.Picture Richard Ponter.120440a

View of Pindar Leisure centre.Picture Richard Ponter.120440a

The College has given notice to cease management the centre due to the burden of the net operating cost.

It took over the running of the building in December 2008.

Cllr David Jeffels, the council’s tourism portfolio holder, said that the move would take effect from the beginning of April under the terms of the original agreement.

He added: “It does need some investment. It’s going to become more important in the area.”

In a report which was presented to Cabinet by Brian Bennett, the council’s head of tourism and culture, he said: “The original Joint Use Agreement of 1995 places a legal obligation on the borough council to ensure arrangements for the management of the leisure centre – whether by itself or others – for the duration of the 21-year term.

“There are no potential other operators available to manage the leisure centre in the short term. Therefore it is proposed that the management of the leisure centre is conducted in-house by the borough council’s Tourism and Culture Service from 1 April 2012.”

According to the report, before the transfer to the college in 2008, the operation of the centre resulted in an annual net cost of around £50,000.

The report read: “The college did not seek a financial contribution toward the costs of operating the leisure centre and an annual revenue saving of £50,000 was achieved by the borough council through the transfer.”

An all-weather pitch was installed at the centre in 1999 with an estimated lifespan of 10 to 12 years and Mr Bennett said the council had invested £7,000 on maintenance to the surface to extend its lifespan before the transfer.

A Sinking Fund of £23,000, which was built up by the council to contribute to the replacement of the all-weather pitch was also transferred to the college.

The report added: “The College has not used the fund and has agreed to return the £23,000 which can be used by the council to ensure the lifespan of the all-weather pitch in the short term.”

Surface maintenance can be done a limited number of times before a full replacement would eventually be needed at an estimated cost of £150,000.