East Herts Leisure Strategy Consultation

We care about the health and wellbeing of our residents and that’s why we are looking at the future of our two leisure centres (Hartham Leisure Centre in Hertford and Grange Paddocks in Bishop's Stortford) and the three joint use pools owned by two local schools and Herts County Council (Fanshawe Pool and Gym in Ware, Leventhorpe Pool and Gym in Sawbridgeworth and Ward Freman in Buntingford)

There are a number of issues affecting these sites: 

  • Ageing facilities
  • Deteriorating facilities and capital investment requirements
  • Increased population, particularly in Bishop's Stortford
  • Changing leisure trends resulting in demand for different activities and higher customer expectations
  • Demand for existing activities to be delivered in different ways, for example the increasing popularity of all-weather floodlit pitches
  • Increased revenue support for ageing facilities and maintenance expenditure
  • Joint Use facilities are subject to significant financial risk arising from the potential loss of  Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) contribution.

To ensure we can continue to provide sustainable and attractive leisure options across the District, we conducted a detailed appraisal of options using a number of studies and national guidance to determine future provision.
 

As a result of this work the proposals considered by the Council on the 18th July 2017 were:
  • The provision of a newly built leisure centre to replace Grange Paddocks in Bishop's Stortford.
  • The extension and refurbishment of Hartham Leisure Centre in Hertford
  • Investment at Ward Freman Pool in Buntingford to upgrade the centre with the option of a gym.
  • A public consultation on the future options for Fanshawe Pool and Gym in Ware and Leventhorpe Pool and Gym in Sawbridgeworth

The joint use facilities come with the risk of the potential loss of funding from the ESFA, which contributes towards 40% of the operating costs. We understand that this contribution is currently secured until August 2019 and schools are awaiting further information about the future of this funding. We are in regular contact with both schools involved and depending on the school’s priorities, a range of possible options for the schools could be explored including:
  • The procurement of another provider
  • The development of a community trust/ body. This could mean that the local community works together to form a self-sufficient, not for profit organisation to manage the facilities.
  • Sponsorship from local businesses
  • An alternative use for the site

The council is mindful that the joint use community pools are valued by local people and consequently this is a difficult situation, which is why we are asking for your feedback to help inform our decisions and guide our future plans.


* 1. Where do you live?

* 2. Do you and/or your family use leisure facilities?

* 3. Where do you go?

* 4. What do you/your family use the leisure facilities that you visit for? Tick as many that apply

* 5. Why is it important to you to use this site? Tick as many that apply

* 6. What would encourage you to use alternative sites? Tick as many that apply

* 7. What would stop you from using any alternative sites?

* 8. The Council is working with the schools to explore other options for the management of the school based sites including:
  • The procurement of another provider.
  • The development of a community trust/body- this could mean that the local community works together to form a self-sufficient, not for profit organisation to manage the facilities.
  • Sponsorship from local businesses.
  • An alternative use for the site.
Given the alternative models of operation that will be explored, do you have any concerns about these?

* 9. The full leisure strategy is available here. Do you have any additional feedback?

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