Everyody Leisure Nantwich_Helen Cotton Photography©-Technogym Tanita Scales (1)

Four leisure centres run by Cheshire East Council could be closed as the authority’s budget crisis deepens.

The authority is desperate to find almost £20 million of savings this year.

And figures also show the shortfall in its adult social care budget is set to rocket.

Now it is to consult on proposals for leisure services across the borough.

The borough’s leisure centres are operated by Everybody Health and Leisure, a charitable trust, and provide a variety of services across 15 sites including two in Nantwich.

It wants to make £1.29m of essential savings in leisure services in 2023/24.

And proposals include closing leisure centres in Holmes Chapel, Middlewich, Knutsford, and Poynton, or finding a commercial operator to run them.

A public consultation is set to launch later this month.

Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said: “In the context of the wider financial challenges the council is facing, we must consider the long-term affordability of these services, and where funding should be focused so that it has the biggest impact for the greatest number of people.

“Since the adoption of the council’s MTFS earlier this year, significant budget savings have been made in leisure services.

“However, the reality is that these savings are still not enough – costs are rising drastically. Last year, funding to maintain leisure centres and cover the related utility fees cost the council more than £1m extra, compared to the previous year.

“Working with Everybody Health and Leisure, we simply must look at how we further prioritise how we continue to financially support the delivery of leisure services for the residents of Cheshire East.

“An essential factor in developing this review, and the options we are now proposing to consult on, has been understanding and considering the varied levels of health and wellbeing need across Cheshire East, and how proposals can lead to positive change in areas where this need is highest.

“We have looked at factors including visitor numbers, the number of registered members for each leisure centre – and how many of these members are choosing to access other leisure centres across the borough.

“We have also considered how we ensure that the service continues to be delivered effectively both geographically and to reflect the level of demand, and how we can continue to provide well-equipped modern sites with the funds available to us.”

Proposals go before November’s environment and communities committee on Thursday, 9th November.

One Comment

  1. They should enter into conversations with private providers about how they could make it work but be prepared to allow others to make a profit. Maybe they cannot be made profitable, maybe they need to close. If the locals are not using it, then they close.

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