Since the council made clear it clear at the end of 2021 that it would be handing the lease of Launceston Leisure Centre back to the owners of the building, the Coronation Park Trust, in January 2023, all parties have been working to find a viable solution to keep the facility open. However, it has not been possible to do so and so Launceston Leisure Centre will close on January 23, 2023.
The process of handing the lease back to the trust was initiated after the council’s cabinet made it clear at its meeting on December 15, 2021, that the council is not in a financial position to be able to provide extra on-going funding to keep leisure centres open.
Since then, the council has provided funding from reserves to keep Launceston Leisure Centre running until its lease on the facility expires in January 2023 and the building is handed back to the owner, the Coronation Park Trust.
In the interim, stakeholders having been working to find a way to keep the leisure centre open. Although there have been moves to support keeping the leisure centre open beyond January 2023 as a long-term solution is sought, the energy costs hike and cost of living crisis means that is not possible.
Despite the best efforts of all involved, there is no viable workable solution that will allow Launceston Leisure Centre to remain open and the council will now be working with current operator GLL to close it.
Cornwall Council portfolio holder for customers Richard Pears said: “We have been working with the trust to explore options to keep the leisure centre open once the lease is handed back to them in 2023. We have helped fund this year long extension in the hope that working together with the trust a solution could be found.
Unfortunately, they have not been able to find a workable and affordable solution to keep the leisure centre in Launceston open.
“I would like to thank all the organisations and stakeholders involved for their efforts and commitment to trying to find a solution.
“We have said all along that the Council is not able to provide funding to keep leisure centres open.
“As we explained at the beginning of this process, we, alongside other local authorities, need to make some difficult decisions to ensure our critical services and statutory obligations are met – bearing in mind that there is no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide leisure services.”
The council will support the trust and GLL to decommission the leisure centre in Launceston and provide support for the affected staff. The council will also be working with local schools to find alternative facilities for swimming lessons.
Story posted 16 November 2022