THE WHITCHURCH Swimming Centre is to be run by management agents Serco after being commissioned to work in partnership with Shropshire Community Leisure Trust Ltd at the White Lion Meadow site.
Shropshire Council made its decision at a Cabinet meeting last April and confirmed a deal had gone through last week following contractual negotiations that will see Serco take over the running of five of the unitary council's leisure centres countywide.
The new contract is part of Shropshire Council's fresh approach to the way in which its leisure centres are to be run and the ten-year contract agreement comes into effect this Summer with an option to extend for a further five years based on both the performances of Serco and the SCL Trust.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council's Cabinet member responsible for active and healthy lifestyles, said: “We are extremely passionate about providing excellent public services to our residents.
“The appointment of Serco will offer better value for money for local people and guarantee the ongoing provision of excellent leisure services within some of our main market towns.
“This includes the delivery of “exercise on prescription” schemes and pricing subsidies to vulnerable people. It is extremely good news for council tax payers, sports fans and local communities alike.”
Existing council staff will transfer to the new provider under regulations regarding their current terms and conditions of employment, while Shropshire Council will continue to monitor performance of the leisure centres and would have to agree to any changes such as opening hours or prices.
Keith Thomas, managing director of Serco Leisure, said: “Our mission is a simple one, to provide active and healthy lifestyles for all, in a safe, warm, clean, friendly, environment for the local community, at an affordable cost. To achieve this and on behalf of the Trust, we will introduce a programme of continuous innovation, capital investment and improvement.”