GLL has been awarded the tender to run Council-owned leisure facilities in Cornwall.
GLL, a not-for-profit social enterprise, currently operates over 200 leisure centres across the UK under the national brand of ‘Better’.
GLL will take up the new contract from current operator, Tempus Leisure, in April.
Adam Paynter, the Council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “I’d like to place on record my thanks to Tempus Leisure for their fantastic work over the years running Cornwall’s leisure facilities in such a professional manner.
“We have always made it clear that we want to keep leisure centres open in Cornwall but without an ongoing subsidy from the Council. By taking the initiative, carefully considering all the options and then going through a vigorous tendering process, we are confident that in awarding this contract to GLL we will secure the future of the Council’s leisure facilities.
“The excellent staff that already work in our leisure centres will transfer over to the new operator on their existing terms and conditions.”
All the leisure facilities currently owned and maintained by the Council will be included in the contract although the Council says it will be continuing discussions with local community groups with a view to devolving Par Pavilion and Running Track to them in the near future.
The facilities included in the contract have been awarded to GLL on a long-term lease basis which means that the Council will continue to own the freehold of the sites.
“This is a good deal for the Council and for Cornwall,” said Paynter. “Not only will it save almost £3.5 million a year which can be used to support other services, but we have secured a commitment from the new operators that all existing club bookings will be honoured.”
Cornish charity, Tempus, submitted a joint bid in collaboration with Fusion Lifestyle, a national charity providing quality sport, leisure and fitness activities to a number of local communities across the UK.
All bidders were advised of the outcome of the tender process following a Council Cabinet meeting at New County Hall yesterday afternoon (Nov 9).
Tempus chair of trustees, Lucy Black, said: “We are extremely disappointed to have been unsuccessful in our bid for the future operation of leisure services within Cornwall.
“We know that we submitted an excellent proposal but this was obviously surpassed by our competitor. We will be taking some time to consider the next steps for Tempus.”