Secret meeting planned to discuss future of Preston leisure centres

Fulwood Leisure Centre
Fulwood Leisure Centre
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Council-run leisure centres in Preston look likely to be transferred to a new provider, as Town Hall bosses plan yet more cuts.

A behind-closed-doors meeting is to be held in January to discuss a “leisure services review”, involving both Fulwood and West View leisure centres.

In October, Preston Council chiefs revealed they were looking to find “alternative service delivery providers” for the two centres, as part of emergency budget proposals.

The secret meeting is to be held on January 11, with the press and public excluded because it will involve information relating to “financial or business affairs”.

Coun Peter Kelly, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “The city council has to save over £3m a year by 2019/2020 and as such, all areas of council spending have been subject to detailed review.

“A review of leisure services has identified options for future savings, whilst also maintaining a strong leisure provision in Preston.

“A full report and recommendations are to be considered by Cabinet on 11th January when members will make a decision about how the leisure service will be run in the future.”

The two leisure centres currently cost the council in the region of £1m a year to run, and the council’s emergency budget in October proposed “radical changes” to the authority’s services.

In a full council meeting held in October, cabinet member for resources Coun Martyn Rawlinson said the authority was hoping for an alternative provider for the centres.

He said: “We want a partner that will protect and enhance those services.

“If we can’t do it we’ll think again, but we did it with the bus station and the Guild Hall.”