Leisure services to be transferred back to local authority control
Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter
Control of leisure services in Neath Port Talbot will be transferred from Celtic Leisure to Neath Port Talbot Council by April 2023, following the approval of plans that were first proposed in February.
It is hoped by council bosses that the move, which will include full control of all leisure centres and other facilities in the borough, will allow for ‘a more coherent approach to opening hours service delivery in centres across the borough.’
Facilities that will be transferred in the move will include Aberavon Leisure and Fitness Centre and Aquasplash park, as well as Neath Sports Centre and Pontardawe Swimming Pool.
Neath Port Talbot Council’s cabinet member for climate change and wellbeing Jeremy Hurley welcomed the report saying residents would see a number of benefits to the change.
He said: “There will be a number of benefits to existing staff, the majority of them being local residents, who will have the security of transferring into the council’s employment.
“The council will also have full control of leisure centres and other facilities allowing for a more coherent approach to opening hours, service delivery, fees and charges, ensuring our leisure offer helps reduce inequality and improves our residents’ health and wellbeing.”
Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council Steve Hunt added: “We are pleased with progress on what is a complex handover process. Our aim is to make these centres of leisure and exercise part of the solution to local public health improvement.
“Investing in the facilities and working with our National Exercise Referral Scheme and Physical Activity and Sports Service teams, it will put the centres at the heart of post- Covid recovery and future wellbeing planning.
“Also, bringing leisure services back in-house reflects one of the Coalition’s key priorities – adopting a fresh approach to leisure, tourism, culture and heritage.”
The full list of facilities that will be transferred is:
- Aberavon Leisure and Fitness Centre
- Neath Sports Centre
- Neath Leisure Centre (along with the new Neath Leisure Centre opening in 2022)
- Pontardawe Swimming Pool
- Pontardawe Leisure Centre
- Vale of Neath Leisure Centre
- Gwyn Hall
- Port Talbot Bowls Hall
- Aquasplash Aberavon Beach
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