Council’s leisure contract extended while long-term plans explored
In partnership with Basingstoke and Deane Community Leisure Trust, Serco currently manages The Aquadrome, Basingstoke Golf Centre and Tadley Health and Fitness Centre on behalf of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
The current contract with the trust is due to end on 31 December 2022 but councillors on the borough council’s Cabinet agreed to extend the contract until 31 December 2025 at a meeting on Tuesday (11 January).
A number of options for future service provision were explored including procuring a new contractor from the leisure sector. However, due to the ongoing uncertainty for the leisure sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that the council continues to provide high quality services that residents enjoy, the decision was taken to extend the current contract while longer-term options are explored.
As part of the contract extension, the council will receive a share of any surplus income the facilities make, with regular performance monitoring in place to understand the ongoing impact of and recovery from the pandemic.
Basingstoke and Deane Community Leisure Trust and Serco will continue to set fees and charges for activities at all three sites, however the council will still oversee concessionary fees for eligible groups.
Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Leisure Cllr Rebecca Bean said: “Ensuring our residents have a high quality of life is a key priority for the council and we are committed to supporting them to improve their health and wellbeing by accessing a range of services and facilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for the borough, however it continues to have a significant impact for the leisure sector. Although facilities have been able to reopen with safety measures in place following a long period of restrictions, certain activities are taking longer to recover to pre-pandemic user levels.
“After considering a number of options, extending the current leisure contract until 2025 will ensure customers can continue to enjoy high quality amenities while we consider a longer-term strategy for the management of these council-owned facilities to meet changing customer needs in a post-COVID world.”
Jimmy Miller Contract Manager for the Basingstoke and Deane Community Leisure Trust said: “This is excellent news for the teams across each of the centres we operate, showing clear commitment from the council to continue working with us to help the people of this community lead happier, healthier lives.
“2022 marks the 20-year anniversary of the first contract signed between the council and our operating partner, Serco Leisure. The Trust came into being in 2006, and since then we’ve worked together to provide safe, accessible and good value sports and leisure services to the people of Basingstoke and Deane, something my team and I are extremely proud of.”
Hazel Tilbury Chair of the Basingstoke and Deane Community Leisure Trust: “Everybody connected with the Leisure Trust and the team on site are delighted with the council decision to extend the contract. The extension period is one of excitement and opportunity for all involved and allows us to continue with great work the on sites teams have been doing over the many years we have been in partnership with the borough council.”