Fife Sports and Leisure Trust is to invest £900,000 over the next 12 months in its facilities and services.
The funds have been made available from surpluses generated in the Trust’s first three years of operation. The Trust is a not-for-profit distributing organisation and was set up to manage and operate Fife Council’s 13 leisure centres. As part of its charitable objectives, the Trust has put increasing participation in physical activity and quality recreational facilities at the heart of its business strategy.
The announcement follows a recent report from The Institute for Sports, Parks and Leisure which praised the Trust’s “excellent” business strategy and commitment to capital investment for long-term service provision.
£390,000 will be spent on new gym equipment for Duloch Leisure Centre and Carnegie Leisure Centre – this follows a series of upgrades in seven of the Trusts other gyms in 2010 – and will see the installation of state-of-the-art Technogym equipment.
To help develop programmes and events across the business, including those which will target health agendas and specific age groups, £120,000 has been set aside. The Trust is also investing £300,000 in a schedule of works to upgrade facilities at some of its centres.
In a bid to deliver improved customer service, £60,000 will be spent on IT upgrades allowing customers to book Leisure Active membership, classes and activities online, and a further £10,000 will be spent to install self-service terminals at Carnegie Leisure Centres to make accessing the Centre more convenient for visitors. And, to ensure customer safety, £20,000 will be spent on CCTV equipment at centres across the region.
Grant Ward, head of Leisure and Cultural Services at Fife Council, said: “We welcome this significant investment from Fife Sports and Leisure Trust into new fitness equipment, facility improvements and activity programmes which will help deliver our ‘Big 8’ priority of improving sports, leisure and cultural opportunities in Fife.
“The Trust has proven itself a flexible and creative organisation, and, in its first three years has increased attendances, reduced costs and delivered a surplus which is now being reinvested back into the business. We look forward to this trend continuing over the next three years and will continue to work in partnership with the Trust to deliver high quality sports and leisure provision for the communities of Fife.”
Ed Watson, Fife Sports and Leisure Trust’s chief executive, said: “I’m delighted to announce this level of investment in our services and facilities. The surplus funds have been made thanks to our success in the first years of trading reinforced with a prudent financial strategy – both of which have resulted in the Trust being able to develop and improve services for communities across Fife.
“Our performance record for the 12 months up to March 2011 has seen an increase in overall leisure centre attendances and participation in our membership scheme, Leisure Active. We’ve also worked hard to develop a series of health-related programmes with partners in NHS Fife and Fife Council to address local and national health agendas.
“Our business strategy for the next three years is aimed at continuing our success and we anticipate future investments to programmes and facilities in line with performance.”