Trust could run Cheltenham leisure and culture venues

An artist's impression of how the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum will look after the work Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum is due to reopen in mid 2013 after redevelopment

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A new charitable trust looks set to be created to run Cheltenham venues like the Pittville Pump Room and Town Hall.

A review of leisure and culture commissioning in the borough was carried out to find the best way to reduce the cost to the council by £700,000 a year by 2017/18.

The cabinet of the Liberal Democrat-run council will meet later to vote on it.

Leisure@, the Prince of Wales Stadium, and the Art Gallery and Museum, would also be run by the trust.

Rowena Hay, the councillor responsible for leisure services, said the council would not relinquish all control.

She said: "It won't be 'right, you're a trust, here you go, bye bye'. That's not the intention.

"It's about partnerships because Cheltenham Borough Council will have that management agreement.

"They are our assets, they won't be sold."

The plan is for the current people running them to cease being council staff and transfer to the trust.

The trust would begin operating no later than April 2014.

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