Adur Community Leisure: Statement from Leader of Adur District Council
The leader of Adur District Council assured residents that it will take all steps possible to secure sustainable leisure services in the future following the announcement that the company running centres has placed itself into voluntary liquidation..
Adur Community Leisure, an arm of the Impulse Leisure company, runs all leisure and recreational services from three centres in the district as well as the Gym Hub in Worthing and the leisure centre at Storrington. Its collapse places 150 jobs at risk.
The leisure centres affected in Adur are Lancing Manor Leisure Centre, Southwick Leisure Centre and Wadurs Community Pool in Shoreham which are all owned by Adur District Council. The Council awarded Impulse a 30-year contract to run leisure services out of the centres in 2005. Any financial surplus goes to the company, not to the Council, in addition to the Council paying an annual Service Fee to ACL to deliver the services.
Given the costs required by ACL to get them through this lockdown period in addition to its own existing running costs and the current stability of the company, the Council's view was that there was a substantial risk that any public money loaned will not be recovered.
The money originally asked for, more than £1m, was more than half of the Council’s working reserves. This request was withdrawn at the last minute ahead of a meeting of the Council which was set to make a decision and a subsequent new lower bid was submitted. This was being considered when the company made its announcement.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Neil Parkin, said, ‘We are very sorry this has happened and our sympathies go out to those whose jobs are now threatened.
‘The Council has done everything possible to support Impulse moving forward. But we also have a duty to local taxpayers to ensure that local services are operated efficiently and cannot place a large financial burden on the authority to prop up an external organisation.
‘We found ourselves in an impossible situation in that the sums asked of us were far too large with a significant risk that we wouldn’t get it back and that the operators would still fail.
This latest news proves we were right to be circumspect
‘However we will begin the process right now of finding a way to return leisure services to the community. ‘