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District council to appoint external partner to manage leisure centres

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Warwick District Council plans to invest £12 million on two leisure centres over the next 18 months, with an external contractor to be appointed to manage its facilities.

The cash will be invested in Newbold Comyn and St Nicholas Park leisure centres.

The Newbold centre in Leamington will include extensions, as well as alterations to the existing leisure centre building. There will be a bigger entrance foyer, a four-court sports hall, wet change facilities, refurbished dry facilities, a climbing zone, three multi-use studios and a larger fitness suite.

Plans at St Nicholas Park in Warwick include an extension together with internal and external alterations to the existing leisure centre building. There will be a new entrance foyer, new wet and dry change facilities, a spin studio, two multi-use studios and a bigger fitness suite.

According to the council website, the authority has six leisure centres and pools. All of district’s leisure centres in Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick will remain in council ownership. By appointing an external operator the council can retain some control over pricing and access for local clubs and organisations. Staff currently employed in the leisure centres will have the opportunity to be transferred to the new operator.

Councillor Michael Coker, portfolio holder for culture, said: “By entering into a contract with an external partner, the council has the opportunity to reduce the subsidy that is currently required to keep the leisure centres running. Without this reduction, at a time when public finances are stretched, the district could face the alternative situation where the level of service at centres reduces and facilities may need to be closed. The proposals will ensure that our centres stay open and provide an enhanced level of service. This should be seen as an exciting opportunity for leisure in our district.”

Plans for the two sites have been progressing with council officers, project managers and architects working in partnership alongside Sport England. Councillors will make a final decision on the proposals in October 2016.

A Warwick District Council spokesperson said the local authority was expecting to appoint a contractor early next year following a tender process.

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Warwick District Council plans to invest £12 million on two leisure centres over the next 18 months, with an external contractor to be appointed to manage its facilities.
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Council plans for Newbold Comyn
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