Leisure group to receive £1.7 million financial package from Doncaster Council

Doncaster leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools and theatres are expected to receive another council finance package hampered by Covid-19.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 4:45 pm

Cabinet members on Doncaster Council will rubber-stamp plans to hand another £1.7 million to Doncaster Culture & Leisure Trust (DCLT) which runs a variety of facilities across the borough.

The money is expected to help run the facilities until March 31, 2021. DCLT has already received £2.77 million to run operations until September 30.

DCLT - an arms-length management organisation - runs Doncaster Dome and cycle track, Thorne Leisure Centre, Fitness Village Balby, Armthorpe Leisure Centre, Hatfield Activity Centre, Dearne Valley Leisure Centre, Crookhill Park Golf Course and Adwick Leisure Complex.

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Doncaster Dome is one of the region's premier sports, leisure & entertainment destinations, with over 50 activities taking place under one roof. Take a sneak peak at the activities available to you this weekend at the Dome.

It also has a hand in running Cast theatre as well as conferencing and catering functions.

The Trust has a combined turnover of £15.4m, including grants and in total, the combined group of companies attracts 2.6 million attendances per year through its facilities.

The company also employs 333 contracted staff and supports and utilises numerous local suppliers, investing £2.5m per year into Doncaster’s local economy, bosses said.

Bosses are also keen to stress that leisure facilities in Doncaster receive significantly less public subsidy than neighbouring councils.

Doncaster subsidises DCLT activities at around £250,000 per year - just over 10 per cent of what Sheffield does at £2.4 million.

Andy Maddox, business development officer at DMBC, said: “The emergence of Covid-19 has had a significant and very quick impact across the group with the Government’s announcements resulting in the closure of DCLT group of facilities by March 18, 2020.

“The reduction in income from an immediate freeze of direct debit income across gym memberships and swimming lessons due to closures, has put significant stress on the financial viability of the company.

“Supporting DCLT through COVID-19 and enabling its continued operation will allow the Trust to continue to deliver their key services to the people of Doncaster.

“These services positively impact a significant proportion of the population’s health and wellbeing and form a strong part of the borough’s identity.

“By supporting the Trust to continue to be a part of the fabric of Doncaster we are also ensuring it continues to play a role in the economic growth of the borough through its supply chain, work force, community engagement and strategic positioning.”

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