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A message of thanks to Places Leisure as WC takes back control.

May 29, 2021 8:18 PM
Originally published by Trevor Carbin Liberal Democrat
Some twenty years ago, West Wiltshire District Council was facing a problem with its leisure centres. Officers wanted to shut some of them down to save money. A tendering exercise was undertaken to see if any companies wanted to run them. Several were interested, but they too wanted to make closures. "Why do you want leisure centres in Westbury and Warminster - if we shut one people will drive to the other, which might then make a profit. What does a place like Bradford on Avon want with a swimming pool when there's one in Trowbridge." ... were the type of comments received from potential contractors.
Then along came DC leisure and made a presentation in which they explained how all the centres could stay open and be run efficiently and profitably. They got the contract, and they did what they said they'd do. Usage, and the number of staff employed, went up dramatically almost from the start.
DC Leisure became Places Leisure and WWDC became WC. Wiltshire Council took on a mix of council-run and contracted-out centres. Now the decision has been made to take them all back in-house.
So on behalf of the towns of West Wiltshire, thankyou DC/PL. You did a good job.
Here's the WC announcement:
All Wiltshire Council leisure centres to be brought under council-management from October
Wiltshire Council has confirmed plans to bring all of its leisure centres under its own management, with the transition coming into effect from October.
The council wants to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of its communities, and in December 2020, Cabinet made the decision to bring council leisure centres back in-house, which supports the council's ambition to provide an equitable level of quality leisure services across the county, with the aim of creating a more active Wiltshire.
The council currently operates 10 leisure centres across the south and east of the county, with 10 leisure centres in the north and west of the county that are managed on behalf of the council by Places Leisure. From October 2021, all leisure centres will be managed by Wiltshire Council.
The leisure centres that will move from Places Leisure to Wiltshire Council management are:
Leighton Recreation Centre, Westbury
Trowbridge Sports Centre
Warminster Sports Centre
Westbury Swimming Pool
Castle Place Leisure Centre, Trowbridge
Bradford on Avon Swimming Pool
Melksham Blue Pool & Gym
The Activity Zone, Malmesbury
The Olympiad, Chippenham
Lime Kiln Leisure Centre, Royal Wootton Bassett
It is anticipated that Places Leisure staff will transfer to become Wiltshire Council employees, and plans are ongoing to ensure a smooth transition for Leisure centre users.

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