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Overhaul of leisure services approved

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Plans for a transfer of leisure services -including the town’s iconic Embassy Centre - to a charitable trust were approved last night.

The move, expected to save £1m over five years, was backed at a full meeting of East Lindsey District Council.

A non-profit distributing organisation (NPDO) will be set up to run leisure, health and cultural services.

Change had been recommended by the council’s executive board following a report commissioned from law firm Winckworth Sherwood.

The council has reassured residents that existing services will be maintained by the charitable trust.

Adam Grist, portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “It is clear that although leisure centres, a theatre and a wider cultural programme are discretionary services, they are highly valued by local residents which is why we want to safeguard these services and give them the means to access further funding than we, as a council, can’t at present.”

“When facing ever diminishing central government funding, it is vital that we look at how we can safeguard these services. A trust arrangement would achieve this. This is about maintaining and improving the services for the future.”

The NPDO will oversee the running of the Embassy Theatre, SO Festival, the Embassy swimming pools and fitness suite and initiatives such as the Skegness Sports Association.

An important part of the set up process will be the recruitment and selection of board of trustee/directors for the new company. Candidates should email project lead Mark Humphreys at mark.humphreys@e-lindsey.gov.uk to register their interest.

It is hoped the Trust will be up and running by January 2015.

 

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