Decision Maker: Director of Public Health
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Historically, budget pressures and competing
priorities have led to significant underinvestment in DMBC’s
portfolio of leisure facilities, as funding availability has not
been able to match that required to invest in and maintain the
facilities to a reasonable and safe standard. Since 2011, Doncaster
Culture & Leisure Trust (DCLT) have managed and operated the
facilities on behalf of DMBC. The current agreement is set to end
in March 2036.
In 2017/18 condition surveys completed by Pick Everard estimated that just over £30million (excluding inflation) would be required over the following 25 year period to ensure appropriate maintenance of the existing facilities. Of that £30million, it was estimated that approx. £16million would be required over the first 10 years. . Of that £16million, it was estimated that approx. £10.5million would be required over the first 5 years. In addition, there has been a requirement to invest in the facilities from a business development perspective to support the continued viability of DCLT.
Over recent years a number of solutions to the investment gap have been explored, including accelerated investment schemes to reduce the gap and rationalisation / closure of facilities – however none were 100% agreed and committed too.
This has resulted in political agreement that the facility stock would not be rationalised and (as of 2020) an annual capital investment be requested to match that required to maintain the facilities, focusing on;
- Elements identified within the condition surveys (including electrical, mechanical and building fabric elements to ensure facilities can continue to operate safely and effectively)
- Opportunities to use greener energy solutions
- Business development opportunities to facilitate income generation to support the viability of DCLT
- Any additional arising health and safety concerns
This resulted in provision of £1.75m 19 -20 financial year and additional £1.345m for 20-21, which was provided specifically to focus on Armthorpe and Askern Leisure Centres
Despite the impact of covid pandemic the programme has enabled Armthorpe to be delivered on time and access an additional £1.7m of government PSDC fund monies to complement Doncaster council allocation and replace aging boilers and decarbonise Askern leisure centre;
It was agreed at cabinet in June 2021 that a further £3.9m would be allocated to accelerate improvements to our stock of leisure facilities (see table below) and provide support to rugby league capital works.
Work now needs to be carried out to survey the chosen centres (listed below) in detail as experience from undertaking works at Askern and planning for Thorne has shown the condition surveys are somewhat wide of the mark when costings works.
The £3.9m has been allocated as follows but these may need to change should survey works identify significant problems or priorities.
Venue Proposed New Capital (£)
Askern Leisure Centre 650,000
Edlington Community Swimming Pool 1,500,000
Rossington Community Swimming Pool 350,000
Thorne Leisure Centre 1,000,000
RLWC capital 100,000
Sub Total 3,600,000
To provide Accelerated Leisure Facility
Capital Investment & Maintenance to the value of £3.9m to
undertake works to improve Doncaster Councils stock of leisure
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND
Option 1 – not to provide the £3.9m ‘capital allocation’ to facilitate the planned works across the leisure centres. This would prevent the planned works from being completed, meaning DCLT would be unable to address health & safety issues and/or opportunities to increase income generation.
The facilities would likely continue to degrade and this could lead to full/part closure of facilities.
Publication date: 14/10/2021
Date of decision: 17/08/2021