Gwynedd Council’s plan to safeguard the future of its leisure centres has reached an important milestone as the board of directors for the proposed new Gwynedd Leisure Company has been confirmed.
In October 2017, Gwynedd councillors backed a proposal to establish a company, controlled by the Council, that will be responsible for the county’s 12 leisure centres, which includes the Bangor Aquatics and Healthy Lifestyles Centre.
The business plan proposes to lease the leisure centres to the council-owned company on a peppercorn rent over a 10 year period, which could save the council around £500,000 a year and also secure the future of the leisure centres.
Seven Gwynedd councillors who represent communities across the county will shortly begin their work as directors and will be responsible for the Company’s performance and setting its development strategy.
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Craig ab Iago said: “I’d like to thank the seven members for taking on this important role as directors of our new leisure company and I look forward to working with them on this exciting venture. I’m delighted that seven enthusiastic councillors are on the board, together they will offer a range of backgrounds and experiences to the work of steering the direction of the company.
“As a Council, we believe that this new model is the best possible option to maintain the current network of leisure centres and explore new opportunities for the future.
“The fact is that the funding we receive from the government to deliver local services is being cut, and this means that we have no option but to think creatively about how we deliver services in future.
“We believe this model of establishing a company will allow us to deliver significant financial savings whilst ensuring that services for residents remain. These annual savings couldn’t be made if the centres remained with the Council directly, and that would unavoidably therefore lead to cuts in services.”
The seven members of the Gwynedd Leisure Company board directors are: Councillor Sian Wyn Hughes (Morfa Nefyn); Councillor Berwyn Parry Jones (Cwm-y-glo); Councillor Beth Lawton (Bryncrug / Llanfihangel); Councillor Dewi Owen (Aberdyfi); Councillor Jason Parry (Caernarfon – Peblig); Councillor Catrin Wager (Bangor – Menai); Councillor Cemlyn Rees Williams (Caernarfon – Cadnant).
In a joint statement, the board members stated: “As members of the Board, we are very much looking forward to the work of developing the company. It is an exciting project with an opportunity to develop and innovative. As councillors we are eager to ensure that the same high level of service that customers currently receive will continue for the future.”
It is expected that the company will be operational from early 2019.