Mendip District Council seek private funding for Avalon Leisure centres
By abbie_wells | Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 10:18
Mendip District Council is seeking funding from the private sector in a bid to improve local leisure facilities.
A procurement process has been launched in a bid to improve local leisure facilities
A procurement process has been approved by the council who have also launched a district-wide review of the current council-funded Avalon Leisure facilities, such as Strode Pool, Shepton Mallet Lido and Wells Leisure Centre.
The council's contract with Avalon will be coming up for renewal in May 2015.
More than 873,000 visitors used the council's leisure facilities last year but the council say these buildings are 'ageing' and new invested is needed.
'Pressures on local authority finances' are said to be the reason for the council seeking external funding from the private sector.
Donna Nolan, Corporate Manager for Governance, Assets and Public Spaces, said: "The council's leisure facilities are very popular with people of all ages across the district and we want to make sure that the people of Mendip have access to high-quality leisure centres and swimming pools.
"While our current facilities are in an acceptable condition, they are ageing and we need to encourage more investment in the buildings.
"This procurement exercise marks the start of a process that could transform the way our leisure facilities look and operate in the years to come."
Cllr John Parham, Portfolio Holder for Governance, Assets and Public Spaces, said: "The council simply doesn't have the money that's needed to bring our facilities up to the standard that we would like.
"This leisure review and procurement exercise would mark the first step towards a new partnership with the private sector, securing much needed investment."
Once option appraisals for the sites have been drawn up, users will be consulted on the proposals.
The first stage of the procurement project will get under way in April 2013.