Support for Stratford Park Leisure Centre
Published: Friday, 30 October, 2020
Stroud District Council will support a vital health and wellbeing service to ensure it continues during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Stratford Park Leisure Centre has been hit hard since lockdown but now it’s open, it can’t accommodate as many swimmers, gym users and sports players as normal, because of the need to protect customers, staff and the community from COVID-19.
That means SPLC operator SLM is forecast to be almost £300,000 worse off by the end of the financial year and risks not being able to run the centre for the council. So the council has agreed to meet operator SLM halfway with capped, monthly payments in arrears up to a total of no more than £150,000.
The decision was approved at the council’s last Strategy and Resources Committee meeting.
“We made this decision to ensure the leisure centre stays open for our local residents,” said Council Leader Doina Cornell. “Despite the current restrictions we know how important using these services and keeping physically active is.
Chairs of Strategy and Resources Committee and Community Services and Licensing Committee will be meeting monthly with officers to review the situation. A condition of the payments is full disclosure of SLM’s finances too.
“Health and wellbeing is one of the council’s five main priorities and Stratford Park Leisure Centre is a key part of keeping people fit and well,” said Community Services and Licensing Committee Chair Chris Brine.
“We will do all we can to protect the provision of activities at the centre, within the available budget.”
Since re-opening to the public on 25 July a revised activity program has been in operation, with fitness, gym, exercise classes, the outdoor pitch, tennis courts, and swimming now available.
The council owns the centre and SLM runs it as Everyone Active. SDC’s other leisure centre, The Pulse in Dursley is run directly by the council.