Schools take over leisure centres

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Schools in Bolton are set to take over the running of leisure centres as a council bids to save cash.

Ladybridge community leisure centre has been taken over by Ladybridge and Rumworth schools, while Little Lever School is expected to take over Little Lever leisure centre.

The move is part of a programme of £400,000 cuts to leisure services in Bolton, announced in September, in the wake of a sharp fall in government money.

Control of Ladybridge centre passed to the school in July last year and governors at Little Lever recently voted to follow suit with their local centre.

Under the proposals, direct council funding to both centres would be withdrawn and their upkeep would come out of the budgets of the schools which already use the centres for PE.

Ladybridge centre will lose £130,000 of council funding from next year – while Little Lever will lose £40,000.

A spokeswoman for Bolton council said other schools were already running leisure centres in the city – with schools working with sports clubs to allow members of the public to use the facilities outside of school hours.