To receive an update on the current position on the review of the leisure contracts in respect of the Aldershot Indoor Pools and Lido, Farnborough Leisure Centre and the Alpine Snowsports Centre.
Mr. Sharpe gave an overview of the current position with each of the leisure contracts; these included the Alpine Snowsports, Aldershot Pools Complex and Farnborough Leisure Centre.
Alpine Snowsports – it was noted that the contract was due for renewal in Spring 2019 and the current operator was Active Nation. The centre was a profit centre which attracted 40,000 visits per annum, which gave a return of £30,000. The process going forward to renew the contract would include soft market testing and liaison with regular users and clubs. This would be followed by a review of the contract and specification with a Member led group before the tender process for self-funding variant bids commenced.
It was reported that some structural work was required on the main slope (Bailey Bridge) at a one off cost of £20,000 including inspection works.
Aldershot Pools Complex – It was noted that the Aldershot Pools Complex incorporated the Indoor Pools and Aldershot Lido. The contract was due for renewal in Spring 2019 and the current operator was, Places for People. The Lido attracted an average of 25,000 visits per annum and ran on a subsidy of £180,000 per annum. The facility was open for 76 days of the year. The Indoor Pools had 300,000 visits per year and was subsidised to the sum of £380,000 per annum.
The Panel were apprised of the outcomes from the soft market testing which had been carried out on the complex. Some of the priorities for the Lido that were noted included, the provision of an adventure golf facility, improved catering, changing and reception areas, increased pricing, a splash pad, a longer season and the provision of a small heated pool.
It had also been suggested that one operator for both the Aldershot Pools Complex and the Farnborough Leisure Centre would allow for shared economies in staffing and other associated costs.
The Panel reviewed the options for the pools complex, from refurbishment to new build, and the procurement process through a design, build, operate and maintain system to deliver innovative solutions to help balance capital and revenue costs. If the decision was made to build a new facility, it would take three years from the initial notice to opening. The development of the facilities would need to be considered against the need for the Council to achieve significant financial savings.
Farnborough Leisure Centre – The Leisure Centre attracted 600,000 visits with a subsidy of £360,000 per annum. The contract was due for renewal in Spring 2019 and was currently operated by Places for People. The Panel was advised that, to retain the existing building, significant savings could be secured. However, roof works to the building were required, in the short term, at a cost of £1 million. The existing centre could operate for a further ten years, with the roof works completed, but maintenance costs would increase and participation would reduce. It was advised that to build a new facility on a smaller footprint would cost in the region of about £16 million.
The Panel noted that the results of a report on the proposed civic quarter developments was due towards the end of September, 2017. This report would help determine viable options for the Leisure Centre.
The Panel discussed the offer at Farnborough Leisure Centre and the utilisation of some of the activities on offer. In particular, squash was highlighted as a sport where demand had fallen over the years and use of the courts only generated an income of £33,000 per annum. This had also been noted as an issue at the Garrison Sports Centre at the meeting in January, 2017. Consideration would be given to the mix and performance of activities as part of the tendering process.
The Panel NOTED the presentation and requested further updates in due course.