Leisure and Cultural Trust for Bournemouth

Bournemouth Council’s leisure centres, conferencing and entertainment venues are set to become a charitable trust following a decision by Councillors at a Cabinet meeting on 9 September 2009.

Councillors agreed that the management of the BIC and Pavilion, Littledown Centre, Stokewood and Pelhams Park and Sir David English Centre should be managed by a Trust in order to secure both future investment and improvements in the town’s leisure centres, conferencing and entertainment venues, subject to a Full Business Case.

This decision is subject to a more detailed report going to Cabinet in December 2009.

Councillor Stephen MacLoughlin, Council Leader said: “Trust status could deliver significant financial benefits through business rate relief and VAT exemptions.  The Council will continue to own the buildings and will be represented on the Board of Trustees. Trust status will also provide greater freedom to both access funding and reinvest profits in improving what the facilities’ offer the public.  If we do pursue the option of Trust status, the overriding consideration will be value for money, which is especially important during this period of recession and the squeeze on public finances.”

The idea was put forward by Lawrence Graham, a firm appointed in March to identify and develop options for the council’s leisure and cultural services. Cllr MacLoughlin said they were currently exploring whether trust status could secure both future investment and improvements in the town’s leisure centres and conferencing and entertainment venues, and that a diverse non-executive board of trustees, drawn from a range of backgrounds, would have greater freedom to access funding and focus on reinvesting profits in improving what was on offer.

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21:05:16 30.09.2009
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