Changes to the operation of the sports facilities at Penwortham Leisure Centre have been announced.Advertisement
In a joint statement, South Ribble Borough Council and Penwortham Priory Academy said the Academy will take back the facilities within the school to operate them in-house.
This means the school will take back ownership and management of the 3G football pitch, sports hall and multi-use games area, and allow community access to these facilities.
The swimming pool, fitness suite, dance studio and squash courts will remain under the ownership of South Ribble Borough Council and will continue to be managed by the Authority, or its partner, moving forward.
The changes will take effect from 1 April 2021 following the end of the current dual use leisure service contract.
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Councillor Mick Titherington, Cabinet member for Health, Wellbeing and Leisure, said: “We have been in discussions with the school and we continue to share the vision to make leisure facilities available to our community.
“We have built up a very good working relationship with the school and have every confidence that Penwortham Priory Academy will continue to provide outstanding facilities and opportunities to the people of Penwortham.
“Priory, along with other schools and partners, will ensure the people of South Ribble are able to make healthy lifestyle choices.”
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Both the school and the Council will create a board to hold twice yearly meetings to integrate community access to the school sports facilities in line with South Ribble’s Leisure and Sport Facility Strategy.
Penwortham Priory Academy Headteacher Matt Eastham said: “Following the end of the current dual use agreement, we are delighted to become a collaborative partner with South Ribble, contributing to the delivery of their long term Leisure and Sport Facilities Strategy by continuing to provide and enhance our school facilities for the people of Penwortham. We look forward to achieving the ambitions and objectives set out in the South Ribble strategy.
“By providing more of our school facilities for use by more people in our local community, we will be able to contribute to the borough wide ambition of ‘Leisure Local’ and ‘More People More Active’.
“It makes great sense and we have exciting and ambitious plans to further develop and improve our offer to the local community, by delivering high levels of user satisfaction at a local level.”
As part of the handover, in partnership with South Ribble Borough Council, the school sports hall will be completely refurbished. New lighting has already been installed and a new floor was fitted over the Christmas break with the sports hall being painted in January.
All facilities will operate as usual until the change on 1 April 2021, subject to being allowed to reopen under Covid-19 restrictions.
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