South West Wales

Swansea council could review funding of leisure

Swansea Grand Theatre
Swansea Grand Theatre is considered to be one of the most important theatres in Wales

Swansea's Grand Theatre and community leisure centres across the county being run privately are among the options that could be explored by the council.

The authority is considering looking at different methods of funding leisure facilities as it tries to save money.

Options include keeping facilities in-house, partnerships with other councils or community groups, and working with not-for-profit organisations.

Any changes to facilities would be put in place by 2012.

The council said no decisions had been made and comprehensive talks with staff, unions and other potentially affected parties would take place if a review of funding goes ahead.

The proposals come in a report commissioned from officials by Graham Thomas, Swansea council's cabinet member for culture, recreation and tourism. MrThomas has recommended that the authority now discusses the options.

If the review goes ahead, the running of community leisure centres at Penlan, Penyrheol, Morriston, Cefn Hengoed, Bishopston, Pentrehafod and Pontarddulais would be looked at.

The Grand Theatre, the Ashleigh Road golf course, the crazy golf attraction in Mumbles, the boating lake at Singleton Park and some of the council's sports pitches could also be reviewed.

'Early days'

Mr Thomas said it was "very much early days" for such an initiative in Swansea.

He said: "This type of review has already been successfully implemented in many places across the UK, so it's by no means unique to Swansea.

"We're also in a position where we've seen the success of Bay Leisure Ltd in running the LC [formerly the Swansea Leisure Centre] in a cost-effective way since its launch. This type of trust model could be used elsewhere in the city."

The LC is run by a not-for-profit company on behalf of the local authority.

Other options could include the running of the council's sports pitches by sports clubs themselves.

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