Special council meeting on future of Arc leisure centre

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Councillors will consider the future of four leisure centres, including in Matlock, at a special council meeting on Thursday.

A recommendation by consultants – supported by officers of the council – is that the running of the four leisure centres be outsourced as a package to a management company, with the district council retaining ownership of the buildings.

Council bosses say this is seen as the only way of maintaining facilities while also safeguarding it’s own finances. The recommendation also includes retaining the sports development team in-house.

The district council has said continuing pressure to find budget savings has prompted the review into leisure services in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth.

Ashbourne Leisure Centre, Bakewell Swimming Pool, Arc Leisure Matlock and Wirksworth Leisure Centre currently are subsidised by council tax payers to the tune of about £1.3 million a year.

The district council says by the end of 2019/20 the main source of government grant funding will have reduced by £2m from 2013/14.

Earlier this year an interim report suggested the most appropriate options could be to either outsource the management of the four centres and retain sports development in-house, or examine the possibility of handing the Bakewell and Wirksworth centres into community control while retaining Arc Leisure Matlock and Ashbourne Leisure Centre, together with the sports development team.

The final decision at a Matlock Town Hall meeting on December 1 will be streamed live on the District Council’s ‘derbyshiredalesdc’ YouTube channel from 6pm.