Shropshire Star

Bishop's Castle leisure centre management changes hands as council hands over to trust

A trust that runs leisure centres on behalf of Shropshire Council has taken over leisure services in Bishop's Castle it has been announced.

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Picture: Shropshire Council

The handover of the SpArC leisure centre management to Shropshire Community Leisure Trust took place on Friday, after Shropshire Council approved the move in October last year.

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust currently runs the council-owned leisure centres in Oswestry and Market Drayton, and two in Shrewsbury – The Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre, and Shrewsbury Sports Village – through Serco as managing agent.

The council says the benefits of the management transfer are improved marketing and development of the leisure offer at SpArC, a more consistent approach across Shropshire, with the opportunity for a joint membership with other Shropshire Community Leisure Trust centres.

There will also be increased training and development opportunities for staff, improved cover for staff, with a Shropshire-wide team, and financial savings, the council adds.

Councillor Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for culture and digital, said: “In completing the management transfer we can be assured that no change to services will result and, in fact, this will bring the advantage of a more consistent leisure offer across Shropshire, development of the centre for the local community, and increased training and development opportunities for staff, as well as providing financial savings for Shropshire Council.”

Rhys Collins, partnership manager for Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, said: “We are delighted at this opportunity to add a new centre to the Shropshire Community Leisure Trust family, and cannot wait to get started supporting the Bishop’s Castle community with their fitness, wellbeing and leisure needs.”

SpArC offers a 3G Floodlit pitch, 21-station gym, a three-court sports hall, two glass-backed squash courts, a 20m x 4 lane swimming pool, sauna and theatre studio.

The council adds that the transfer will not result in changes to the facility offer, opening hours or staffing; and it is not envisaged there will be any negative effect on equalities, social inclusion or health.

Consultation with local councillors, SpArC trustees, service users and staff has also shown there is enthusiasm for the management transfer, the council adds.

For more information about the centres run by Shropshire Community Leisure Trust visit its website.