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Staff take over leisure centre provision in Flintshire, leading to gym improvement plans

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Staff at local authority leisure centres in the Welsh borough of Flintshire have come together to take over facility operations from the council – a move that will result in the development of a new gym.

Staff members have created an employee-led mutual – or Community Benefit Society – that has put together a business plan to run the centres, which combine leisure, sport and library facilities.

Following the move to take over operations, the Community Benefit Society expects to invest £2m (US$2.5m, €2.3m) to boost the leisure provision in the area.

The money will go towards the building of one new gym facility and the refurbishment of two existing gyms.

In addition, Flintshire County Council will make a £1m (US$1.2m, €1.2m) capital investment to improve the overall condition of the building.

It is anticipated that moving to a Community Benefit Society model will save the council £500,000 (US$615,835, €584,128) in the first full year, while the overall model to integrate the leisure and library services “provides savings of 10 per cent”.

Ian Bancroft, chief officer for organisational change at Flintshire County Council, told Health Club Management that the integration at two facilities had increased footfall, while the council was hopeful that the Community Benefit Society could benefit from National Lottery funding in the future.

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Staff at local authority leisure centres in the Welsh borough of Flintshire have come together to take over facility operations from the council – a move that will result in the development of a new gym.
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Around £2m will go towards the improvement of gym provision in Flintshire / Aleksandr Markin/Shutterstock.com
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