South Hams District Council have approved Fusion Lifestyle as the new operator for their leisure provision, and with it a massive investment in their leisure centres.
Today’s vote cements the decision made by West Devon Borough Council earlier this week to approve Fusion as the operator in West Devon.
Fusion’s successful bid includes proposals for a capital investment in all of the centres that they will operate. This includes Ivybridge, Dartmouth and Kingsbridge in the South Hams, Meadowlands and Parklands in West Devon.
Cllr Hilary Bastone Executive Portfolio Holder for Customer First said: “This is a good day, it marks the dawn of a whole new era of leisure provision in the South Hams.
“I am delighted to be able to tell you that the proposals Fusion put before us included a new 6 lane 25 m swimming pool in Ivybridge, a massive refurbishment programme and upgraded facilities. In Dartmouth and Kingsbridge proposals also include a refurbishment programme.
“Fusion’s presentation to us was simply outstanding and I am confident that they can deliver the excellent leisure services our communities desperately need”.
Peter Kay, Fusion Chief Executive Officer said “We are absolutely delighted with the Council’s decision and we are looking forward to developing a long and successful partnership with the Council. Fusion is committed to the principle of delivering high quality services and facilities which are inclusive and accessible to all members of the local communities. We will work closely with existing customers and new users to deliver facility developments and service improvements.”.
The Totnes Pavilion is not included in the Fusion contract because there is a different ownership / operator arrangement at that centre. Currently the dry and wet facilities are managed by different operators.
After a thorough consultation with user groups and the current operators South Hams District Council concluded that this arrangement didn’t really work well and they have agreed in principal to an asset transfer of the dry side facilities to Tadpool for the next 25 years. The asset transfer would include a loan of £1,500,000 to support investment and improvements, subject to an approved business case.Cllr Hilary Bastone continued: “This is the right decision all around, it enables Tadpool to take full control of the centre and offer a more complete leisure package.”
The existing operator’s contract terminates at the end of November 2016 and the new contract with Fusion will start on the 1st December 2016.
The refurbishment programme will probably begin in late 2017 and be complete during 2019