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Cornwall Council Leisure Services Review

CC

SOFT MARKET TEST - SUMMER 2015

Background:
Cornwall Council's leisure assets and resources form part of the landscape of both indoor and outdoor facilities, providing opportunities for people to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. Its 13 leisure centres and athletics track provide important opportunities for learning to swim, indoor 25m swimming, physical activity and competitive sport.
 
The Council's Leisure Resources Strategy, published in 2014, set out its vision and plans for the future of leisure services in Cornwall; in particular it outlined the Council's ambition for:

"A sustainable network of leisure facilities and activities available to residents and visitors across Cornwall that contributes to local health, wellbeing and the economy of Cornwall, at no cost to the Council"

Targeted consultation with town and parish councils, schools, sports clubs, national governing bodies of sport, Council officers, leisure partners and stakeholders last year identified a variety of issues that were taken into account in developing the final strategy. As a result of the consultation, the Council identified the most likely way to achieve its ambition is to transfer ownership or provision of its leisure facilities to one or more partner organisations.

Set against the backdrop of significant reductions in public sector funding, and a requirement for substantial investment in the current estate, the Council is seeking new ways to provide a sustainable network of leisure facilities, whilst at the same time reducing its current annual leisure subsidy - which is forecast to reach £3.77 million in the financial year 2017/2018.

Soft Market Test II - Summer 2015:
The Council conducted a first market test in November 2014.  The aim of that exercise was to establish initial interest in delivering the Council's ambition of a sustainable network of leisure facilities in Cornwall. A summary of the results, together with a list of key questions and responses raised, can be found in the feedback document at www.cornwall.gov.uk/leisuretransfer

The overall response to this test was encouraging and helped the Council to understand how attractive certain elements of the prospect are to potential providers and partners.  At the same time, the Council acknowledges that, having received limited investment and developer responses, it needs to articulate its aims and objectives more clearly.

With this in mind, this Council is undertaking a second market test to further understand what factors would make the Council's approach most commercially sound and attractive to potential partners and providers. The Council wants to hear from a wide range of community groups, businesses with a sporting snterests, other public sector organisations and businesses about how they would approach meeting its ambition.

Interested organisations are invited to participate in a second market test, between 20 July and 21 August 2015. The information obtained during this exercise will enable the Council to define options for future leisure services provision and begin a procurement process in autumn 2015. This will allow sufficient time for the Council to choose a partner (or partners) before its current management contract with Tempus Leisure ends on 31 March 2017.

To assist in the market test process, the Council has created a dedicated web page www.cornwall.gov.uk/leisuretransfer with information on its leisure strategy, the purpose of the soft market test and details of the services and assets in scope and leisure in Cornwall.

Organisations will be able to ask questions and submit their proposals on the web page, as well as register for one of the Council's provider briefing events taking place during August. The events are being held for organisations to discuss their proposals with Council officers and raise any questions or concerns regarding its ambitions for a sustainable network of leisure facilities and activities.

Details of events:
• For Leisure Operators:  Bristol on 4 August 2015
• For local organisations: Camborne on 5 August and St Austell on 6 August 2015

Please visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/leisuretransfer for more details on the events and how to register to attend.