A new joined-up approach for council-owned leisure venues in North Yorkshire will be considered by councillors next week with a greater focus on health and well-being and unifying services for customers.
- All council-owned leisure assets are part of the proposed review and no decision has been taken as yet on the future of individual sites.
- The proposed strategy is setting out how to carry out a review of all council-owned facilities in the county.
- “greater focus on health and well-being and unifying services”, means the council want to promote a healthier lifestyle by ensuring that there is as much participation among the public at leisure centres.
- See https://edemocracy.northyorks.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=1466&MId=7497
The proposals build on current best practice, expertise and experience and aim to transform leisure centres into sport and active well-being hubs.
The plan would build stronger links between the facilities, sports development, and locally-based services and activity.
There would be a particular emphasis on the needs of people who face barriers to participation as well as providing opportunities to work in greater partnership with the NHS, social care and community organisations.
The proposed approach would promote the role physical activity plays in promoting a healthy lifestyle, and it is hoped that this would help to reduce pressure on services.
The recommendations follow the first phase of the council’s strategic leisure review, which has been shaped by input from communities and sports groups, as well as stakeholders including Sport England and North Yorkshire Sport. A cross-party working group of councillors visited sites throughout North Yorkshire and their feedback also informed the proposals.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture, arts and housing, Cllr Simon Myers, said:
The strategic leisure review provides us with an exciting opportunity to transform the delivery of our leisure service and improve outcomes for communities across North Yorkshire.
What we are recommending puts us at the forefront of a national movement to transform services with a renewed focus on physical and mental health and wider well-being.
To help to achieve the proposed approach, North Yorkshire Council’s transition overview and scrutiny committee, which is due to meet on Monday, 4 December 2023, will be asked to support the consolidation of the entire leisure service into a single in-house model during the next four years.
The report to the committee also seeks support for a leisure investment strategy, progressing work already undertaken during recent asset condition surveys at the leisure centres. This will look at the condition of each site, its future role and sustainability as part of the new delivery model. Feedback from the committee will be used to shape the final recommendations which will be considered by the council’s executive in January.