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Dales Leisure Review continues

Work is on schedule to create a tendering specification for outsourcing the management of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s four leisure centres as a package to a new service provider.

The specification will be presented to a meeting of the District Council’s Community & Environment Committee on 15 June.

Informing the specification will be a survey that ran for six weeks until the middle of last month, completed by 565 people, half of whom are members at the four leisure centres in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth.

Dales councillors voted unanimously in December last year to start the process, where the leisure centre buildings will continue to be owned by the District Council, but a specialist leisure operator will take on the responsibility of managing the service for the next 10-15 years. The contract is expected to start around June next year.

The results from the online survey are being analysed by specialist consultants commissioned to put together the tendering specification – and meetings continue to take place with partners and key stakeholders to help define the contract, which is due to be advertised this summer.

A Leisure Review Working Group led by the District Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Corporate Director Paul Wilson meets fortnightly, comprising senior council officers, with expert legal and procurement support from Derbyshire County Council.

A District Council spokesperson said:

"The Working Group’s task is to drive forward the Review, identifying any risks, existing usage agreements and Human Resource issues, while organising essential assessment work such as condition surveys.

“From day one of this Review we have committed to communicating not only with leisure centre users, residents and stakeholders, but with our own leisure and support staff, to keep them up to date with progress every step of the way.

“Our four leisure centres attract more than 600,000 visitors a year and we have invested heavily in them in recent years because of their importance to the communities they serve. Outsourcing the management of the centres to a new service provider is the next step in sustaining and ensuring continued improvement for a valued service.”

Work is on schedule to create a tendering specification for outsourcing the management of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s four leisure centres as a package to a new service provider.

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