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Reprieve for leisure centre after last ditch talks

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Fusion Lifestyle has held successful talks with a Devon swimming trust and South Hams District Council (SHDC) to prevent part of a leisure centre from closing.

There were fears that the "dryside" of Totnes Leisure Centre (formerly Totnes Pavilion) would have had to close earlier this week if a deal had not been struck.

On 1 December 2016, Fusion signed a contract with the council to operate leisure centres in South Hams for 25 years. The deal included the running of Totnes Pavilion on the understanding that the operation would extend to the existing swimming pool and gym facilities run by Totnes and District Swimming Pool (Tadpool).

Tadpool was due to take out a lease on the "dryside" of the centre, which includes the reception, sports hall and studio, and then contract it out to Fusion. This would allow Tadpool to keep control of the facility but have Fusion run it.

However, more than five months down the line agreements have not been concluded and Fusion said it could not continue to operate the centre out of contract at its own cost. It gave a deadline of Monday (15 May) to resolve the issue.

After talks between the three parties, Fusion and the council said: "All of the outstanding issues were discussed and the principle of how to resolve them was agreed. However, all three parties now need a little more time to complete this process, which would involve the drafting and reviewing of contacts. 

  "In order to allow time for this to happen, South Hams District Council has agreed to fund the operation of the centre for a further two weeks. This would ensure that the centre remains open for users while the contracts are being completed. Tadpool has also been asked to make a contribution towards this."

  All three parties are expected to meet on Monday 22 May to review the final drafts of the contracts, with completion no later than Friday 26 May. 

  The statement added: "If the three parties do not stick to this timetable, South Hams District Council will not fund the centre beyond Tuesday 30 May, and the dryside would then have to close."

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Fusion Lifestyle has held successful talks with a Devon swimming trust and South Hams District Council (SHDC) to prevent part of a leisure centre from closing.
Fusion Lifestyle signed a contract in December 2016 to operate leisure centres in South Hams, including Totnes Pavilion
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