Posted: Wed 24th Feb 2016

Interest sought in leisure and cultural facilities /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 24th, 2016

Swansea Council will this week start testing the marketplace for interest in running a number of its leisure and cultural facilities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Interest is being sought from third parties, including not-for-profit and community-based companies and organisations, in working in partnership with the council at attractions including the museum service, Plantasia and community leisure centres. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It’s all part of the Sustainable Swansea: Fit for the Future transformational programme that’s looking to guide how the council makes inroads into a major budget deficit, while protecting as many services as possible. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: “Through no fault of our own, we’re facing a budget deficit of £80 million over the next three years. In a recent budget consultation exercise, Swansea residents told us we should be prioritising the funding we do have on education and social care, while finding different ways to run other services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“So our plan isn’t to stop cultural services – it’s to explore alternative, innovative and sustainable ways of delivering these services in future to protect them for the people of Swansea. This is why we’re starting to test the marketplace for interest in running a number of our cultural services. This isn’t about privatisation. We hope we’ll be able to work in partnership with a number of leisure organisations, trusts, community groups and in-house business units to sustain a strong and vital service for Swansea and the region. The aim is to minimise the impact on our teams as far as possible. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“All that’s happening this week is the start of a conversation with third parties to explore how they think they can work in partnership with the Council to meet our priorities, enhance the attractions and achieve sound outcomes for all our communities, especially those most in need of supported access, whilst developing and protecting the services for future generations to enjoy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Any recommendations that arise from this activity will be referred to Cabinet for final decisions.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Outdoor leisure facilities including Blackpill Lido, Singleton boating lake, the Ashleigh Road pitch and putt, the Bay Rider land train and the Langland Bay tennis courts are among the other attractions the council is looking to run differently in future. Alternative operators are also being sought to run these attractions on a short-term basis from the start of May this year until the end of December. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Mark Child, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Healthy City and Wellbeing, said: “While these outdoor facilities are among the services we’re looking to run differently in future, we’re also now looking for alternative operators to run them from May till the end of the year. This will help us make savings in the short-term as we go about exploring alternative models of delivery for these facilities and others in years to come. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“But it’s not just cultural services that will be delivered differently in future. All council departments are under review as we look to become more streamlined and innovative to create a sustainable Swansea that’s fit for the future.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Email if you’d like to express an interest or request more information. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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