LEISURE centres in mid Cheshire look set to be run by the same organisation for the next 10 to 15 years.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) has agreed in principle to offer a new contract to Brio Leisure, which runs 17 leisure and recreation facilities across the area.
Clr Stuart Parker, CWAC’s executive member for culture and economy, said visitor numbers had increased by 15,000 to 2.4 million and income has grown from £7.2 million to £7.35 million in the three years since Brio took over.
Speaking at the latest executive group meeting he said: “Competent professional management of the leisure assets and services delivered by Brio are a critical success factor.
“Despite some limited service disruption caused by plant failures at some older sites, the quality of service delivery has been consistently high with positive feedback from users and partner organisations.”
The 10 to 15 year contract will only be offered to Brio Leisure, a Community Interest Company (CIC), after it has been considered by CWAC’s corporate scrutiny and after a further report to the executive group in the autumn.
Clr Justin Madders, leader of CWAC’s Labour group, said he welcomed the further scrutiny before the final contract is issued.
“Certainly, if you are talking from 10 to 15 years, it is important we get it right from the outset,” he said.
“The decision we are making here involves the vehicle that is going to drive forward the health and well being of the borough.”
Members of the executive also considered transferring leisure and recreation services back to CWAC or contracting out but it was decided that taking the services back in house would not deliver the efficiencies available to a CIC and that the outsourcing process would take too long to introduce.