Agenda item

White Oak Leisure Centre: New Build and operator procurement


The Chief Officer People & Places presented the report which set out the proposed construction of the new leisure centre, the demolition of the existing White Oak Leisure centre, and the appointment of an operator for the new centre. The report set out the facility mix and detailed costings and funding sources. Planning permission had been granted on 13 February 2020.The construction of the new leisure centre and demolition of existing leisure centre cost, together with fees and charges, was due to be £20m.


The Chief Officer People & Places advised Members of the proposed design of the new leisure centre, which included a Tag Active zone, multi-purpose rooms, a pool, a café, soft play area and parking provision for 144 vehicles and two coach spaces. There was focus on making the building as flexible as possible in its use. The new leisure centre was due to open in November 2021.


The preferred operator was Sport and Leisure Management (SLM). If the contract would be approved, then the net payment to the Council would be £507,248 a year on average. The preferred operator had shown interest in embedding themselves in the local community early on in the process. The Chief Officer People & Places advised that there would be 38 full time equivalent members of staff working for SLM which provide good operator resilience.


Members were advised that there were risks related to construction with Alliance Leisure Services Ltd (ALS) as well as risks outside their responsibility. These included utilities issues, prolonged extreme weather conditions, planning conditions imposed, changes to national building regulation, and unexpected ground conditions.


In response to queries regarding the new floor at Orchards Academy sports hall, Members were advised that the manufacturer had checked the new floor was suitable for sports currently using the hall, such as roller hockey.


In response to questions on timetabling, Members were advised that the operator would ask existing clubs what their needs would be and what times would be suitable. Timetables would be decided long before the opening of the leisure centre. The communication between the operator and clubs would be overseen by the Community Projects and Funding Officer.


Following concerns over the popularity of the facilities provided, such as Tag Active zone, it was emphasised to Members that the building was designed to be flexible and would therefore adapt based on demand of facilities.


In response to a query on financial variation in the contract, Members were advised that there would be a monthly payment tied into the contract. If any income would be above what was predicted, the cost would be split between the Council and the operator.


Resolved:  That the following comments on recommendations a) to e) as set out within the report, be passed to Cabinet


a)     That it be ensured that


i)    the new floor in the Orchard Academy sports hall be able to accommodate sports such as roller hockey and netball; and


ii)  early discussions take place with existing clubs during the redevelopment process



Supporting documents:


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