Leisure facilities across Mendip are in line for a multi-million pound cash injection after Fusion Lifestyle took over responsibility for operating the council’s facilities from Monday June 1st.
Fusion, an independent charity, has pledged to invest millions of pounds over the term of its leases on the council’s leisure facilities, ensuring up-to-date and popular leisure activities can be provided across the district for many years to come.
Fusion’s investment programme, which is due to be completed by 1st April 2018, is:
- Frome Leisure Centre – £2million
- Wells Leisure Centre – £550,000
- Strode Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre – £100,000
- Tor Sports and Leisure Centre – £75,000
- Shepton Mallet Lido – £75,000
Fusion Lifestyle’s 50-year leases for the facilities started yesterday (Monday June 1st), when the council’s leisure contract with Western Community Leisure and Avalon Leisure came to an end.
As well as investing in the buildings, Fusion is required to take over all the associated running costs and risks, reducing costs to the council which can then be reinvested in frontline services.
Cllr Philip Ham, Portfolio Holder for Transformation, said: “This new partnership marks the start of a very bright future for leisure across Mendip. By awarding the leases of our leisure facilities to Fusion we have safeguarded the future of leisure in the district and unlocked a multi-million pound programme of investment.
“I look forward to working with Fusion for many years to come and I’m confident that Mendip’s residents will be delighted with the improvements that are made to their local leisure facilities.”
Peter Kay, CEO at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this long-term partnership with the district council and we look forward to working with existing staff and users of the centres to deliver facility and service improvements.
“As a charity, Fusion is dedicated to delivering high quality community facilities and services, which are sustainable whilst also being inclusive and accessible. We are keen to encourage participation in sport and physical activity by all members of local communities across the district.”
Gavin Ball, Principal of Frome College, whose students regularly use Frome Leisure Centre as part of their studies, said: “To have £2million of investment committed to Frome Leisure Centre is fantastic news and will signal the start of some much-needed improvements.
“I look forward to working with Fusion going forward to make sure the college students can benefit fully from the improvements to the leisure centre.”
Staff from the council’s previous leisure providers have moved across to Fusion in line with TUPE regulations.
Fusion will shortly begin to consult with users of the leisure facilities about what activities and services they would like to see provided in the long term.
Photo: Pictured, from left to right, are: Francois Smit (Fusion), Elizabeth Dawson (Mendip District Council), Stuart Brown (MDC Chief Exec), Graham Noel (MDC councillor), Donna Nolan (MDC), Harvey Siggs (MDC – Leader of Council), Karen Russell (MDC), Stuart Finney (MDC), Rob Taylor (Fusion).