The last 18 months has been an extremely challenging period for the leisure industry and in particular the Cornwall partnership. At the point the business restarted on the 12th April 2021, membership levels were 49% of the same period in 2019 and the swim school was 63%. The Cornwall Leisure Centres have lost £4.5m in this period.
In September 2020, GLL and Cornwall Council agreed a relief package, which supported GLL’s losses until the end of July 2021, while a Strategic Leisure Review was completed, to set out how Cornwall’s Leisure Centres could operate in a sustainable way beyond this date.
Without any clear outcomes from the Strategic Leisure Review, GLL were asked to provide our own options to balance the books beyond July 2021. GLL provided two options to the authority, which either required further ongoing financial support, or regrettably a reduced portfolio of Centres, with a focus on looking at alternative operating models.
With no Council budget to further support leisure, GLL was asked to formally request a change to the contract. This change highlights GLL cannot afford to continue subsidising the following loss making Leisure Centres - Saltash, Launceston, Wadebridge and Ships and Castles in Falmouth - and the hydrotherapy pool at St Austell Leisure Centre. It is important to note closure is not what is being proposed.
Cornwall Council are now embarking on Public Consultation, commencing Wednesday 22nd September, asking for public, staff and stakeholder input in to the Leisure Resources Strategy and the future operation of the four Leisure Centres and hydrotherapy pool.
As part of the consultation process Cornwall Council is inviting local groups and organisations with ideas about how to deliver financially sustainable leisure services to come forward and work alongside the council and GLL to develop a new set of proposals about our leisure offering.
The consultation process runs until 31st October, 2021 and based on the feedback and available options, members will be making a decision in December.
To participate in the public consultation please click here - https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/leisure