Selby’s struggling leisure services are set to be taken over by a North Yorkshire Council-owned company ahead of a review into leisure provision across the county.
Selby District Council has decided not to renew its contract with Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (IHL), a charity which manages its leisure services.
Selby council will be abolished next year and become part of the new North Yorkshire Council on April 1, 2023.
Leisure services across North Yorkshire’s seven district and borough councils are managed in a variety of different ways.
Senior councillors on North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) have decided to spend £120,000 on a county-wide review of leisure services – with the aim of creating a ‘single service delivery model’ for the whole county by 2027.
Selby’s leisure services have struggled over the past few years due to a combination of Covid and the fact that IHL lost its contract with Wigan Council.
IHL was expected to pay Selby District Council £18,000 in 2022/23, but instead the council has had to subsidise its services to the tune of almost £1 million.
Last year, the council said The Summit, which adjoins Selby Leisure Centre and includes climbing walls and a bowling alley, was “financially unviable”.
It closed during the Covid lockdowns and was used as a vaccination centre. A decision on its future will be made by North Yorkshire Council as part of the review.
Once IHL’s contract expires in September 2024, Brimhams Active – which currently provides leisure services in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and Nidderdale – will take over Selby’s services for an interim period.
Brimhams Active, currently wholly-owned by Harrogate Borough Council, will transfer to North Yorkshire Council in April 2023.
NYCC’s Coun Simon Myers said: “We will become responsible for a lot of assets and provision of leisure and sports services across the vast expanses of North Yorkshire.
“It is diverse and currently runs on different operating models – some are heavily invested in and some almost pay for themselves.
“It’s very important that the new council looks at all of that in terms of the best practice for delivery of something which is very crucial to public health and wellbeing across the county – and aims to have the best and most cost efficient services.”