Building on the district council’s £7m investment in its leisure services in recent years, newly appointed partners to run them in North Kesteven take charge this week.
The previously subsidised leisure, sport, arts and physical activity services will now run at an overall surplus, with a ten-year saving of more than £10 million.
From April 1, Greenwich Leisure will operate leisure centres in Sleaford, North Hykeham and Sleaford Fitness Station sports and sports outreach; Lincs Inspire will run the Natural World Centre at Whisby and the Arts Services including the National Centre for Craft and Design; and Hill Holt Wood will run the CountrysideNK service, which includes the Stepping Out walk network and nature activities.
All three are not-for-profit social enterprise trust organisations.
Users of NKDC’s arts and leisure services can expect to see a range of expansions and new experiences, including: free swimming for under eights when customers sign up for a Pay and Play card, further investment at all locations, remodelling of Sleaford Fitness Station, enhanced outreach to deliver sport and physical activity in local communities, assistance with kit, equipment and Olympic ambitions for athletes and clubs, more well-maintained walking opportunities, more health focused and creative activities and more opportunities to engage with the arts.
Council Leader Coun Richard Wright, said: “These services are at the heart of our vision for healthy, flourishing and sustainable communities, which is why we are investing in them at a time when others are closing their facilities.”
Sue Wells, Chief Executive of Lincs Inspire, said: “During April and May we will be sharing some of our ideas for the future of the Natural World Centre and seeking customer views. We are committed to maintaining the calibre of the artistic offer at the National Centre for Craft and Design and look to build on the centre’s reputation as an outstanding visitor attraction; a creative hub for everyone in the community.”
GLL Regional Director Joseph Rham said: “We’ve got some really exciting improvements planned - including to our leisure offer in the community.”