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Council confirms deal for social enterprise to take over running of leisure facilities

27 May 2024 3 minute read
Aberfan Community Centre

Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter

A social enterprise has taken over the running of leisure facilities in Merthyr Tydfil.

Halo Leisure has been brought in to run the services on the council’s behalf and these include Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre, Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Community Centre and the splash park and cafe at Cyfarthfa Park which Halo said there are exciting plans for.

Halo said that the partnership with the council means the local authority will have a big say on how the services are run and developed, especially when it comes to what’s on offer with Halo Leisure responsible for managing and maintaining the facilities for the immediate future.

Halo Leisure has over 20 years experience of managing leisure centres and swimming pools and other partners include Bridgend, Gloucester, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Wiltshire.

Halo is a social enterprise and registered charity and it said that any surplus money is put back into services and facilities which it said keep costs low.

Not for profit

Scott Rolfe, Halo’s chief executive said: “We are delighted to be selected by the council as the operational partner for these leisure facilities.

“Our social enterprise business model and registered charity status allows us to trade for social purposes and ‘not for profit’, something the council recognised as a sign of quality and strength.”

“We will work with the teams at the sites and the council to support even more
local people to participate in some form of exercise, increase the range of activities available to them, and invest in the leisure facilities, this includes the pool at the leisure centre which we are committed to
open as soon as practically possible.

“We are confident that, together, we can transform services and facilities for the benefit of local residents and get more people more active more often.”

Expertise 

Alyn Owen, deputy chief executive of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council said: “We were looking for a partner that had the expertise to manage the three sites and maximise the opportunities for communities to be more physically active.

“We have seen the way Halo has transformed other leisure centres and pools and the dramatic impact that’s had on visitor numbers and therefore the health of the communities around them.

“We are looking forward to working with them and to seeing their wider plans for the sites, especially the reopening of the pool at the leisure centre.”

Leisure services were previously run by Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust (Wellbeing Merthyr) but its contract was terminated at the end of April.


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