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Councillor says new trust will give Royal Borough 'more control' over leisure centres

Councillor says new trust will give Royal Borough 'more control' over leisure centres

A new charitable trust created to run the borough’s leisure centres will give the council more say and flexibility in decisions, according to a councillor.

Last week it was announced that new trust Leisure Focus would take over the running of the Royal Borough centres from Legacy Leisure from Saturday, August 1.

Legacy Leisure currently runs sites in Cox Green, Windsor, Furze Platt, Charters Leisure Centre and the Magnet.

A statement released by the council said: “Due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, all parties agreed it was in the best interests of customers, staff and the wider community to transfer the operation.”

Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle) cabinet member for leisure services said it would give the council ‘a better say’ in how the leisure centres are run and allow it to be more responsive.

She said: “The sport world is changing rapidly all the time, this will give us a better opportunity to react and make things much more appealing and suitable for what residents want for their leisure centres.”

She said the council had a very good relationship with Parkwood, the parent company which runs Legacy Leisure but the coronavirus situation meant the council now had the opportunity to create its own trust.

She added having a small charitable trust look after the centres will give more flexibility for changes and decision making.

She said: “We want to work closely with committed residents who love leisure centres and make it a good experience and make it as fantastic as possible. With the Braywick Leisure centre we have much more to offer.”

Braywick Leisure Centre is set to open in the autumn.

Cllr Rayner said all staff would continue to work at the centres and all gym memberships will continue with no change to the current terms and conditions.

Russell O’Keefe, executive director of place for the Royal Borough and trustee of Leisure Focus, said: “The trust is run by local people who are passionate about the local leisure facilities. We cannot wait to re-open [leisure services] and encourage everyone to visit the sites and support your local centres.”

Russell O’Keefe, Sue Anstiss and Toby Wheeler will be the trustees. 

Legacy Leisure has been contacted for further comment. 

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