Our future role in the Queen Elizabeth Leisure Centre

Our aims

We commit to helping create strong, healthy communities.

Our aims are to:

  • support the community to be active
  • increase healthy life expectancy
  • reduce health inequalities between areas

Leisure facilities help people of all ages to lead a physically active lifestyle, as well as our:

Why we are consulting

We do not own the Queen Elizabeth Leisure Centre. Through a dual-use agreement, we manage the site and have an ongoing joint liability for:

  • revenue costs

  • capital investment

We subsidise the leisure centre at Queen Elizabeth School by around £550,000 per annum. This is far higher than any of the leisure centres we own.

We own and fund 8 leisure facilities providing a subsidy of approximately £1.7m per annum. The funding at QELC is 33.3% of our total leisure centres budget. This raises the question of whether this provides value for money.

In 2019, future capital costs at the centre were estimated at £4.7m over the next 25 years. We will have to contribute £2.83m (60%) towards this.

There are lots of public leisure facilities within a 20 minute drive of QELC, 3 that we own. There are also several large private and budget leisure clubs within a 10-mile radius. The level of competition continues to have a negative impact on the centre’s usage and trading.

For example, the BH Live leisure centre in Corfe Mullen has attracted a high number of local users. They can have full access to these facilities without a school having priority use. The leisure centre in Corfe Mullen has had a detrimental impact on usage numbers and income at a time when costs continue to rise.

Other leisure facilities in the area

The centres marked on this map suggest that there is a very good level of alternative leisure provision in the local area.

Other parts of the Dorset Council area:

  • compare poorly with this level of provision

  • have higher levels of deprivation

  • have health inequalities

We can give written notice to withdraw from the management agreement so long as we give at least 2 years notice.

The Queen Elizabeth School (QES) will not be able to afford to operate a full leisure offer if that happens.

They get the exceptional factor funding because it is open for the community to use. They receive circa £279,500 in an annual payment from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

As The QES will not be able to operate a dual-use leisure provision they will not be eligible for the funding.

This would impact:

  • the school's ability to provide community access

  • reduce the leisure facilities available for school use

They are making the case that they will still have exceptional premises so the funding should continue. However, school funding is bound by the regulations from the Educational Skills Funding Agency.

A consultation will help us understand the future impact on users, clubs, and staff.

We would like to hear the views of the local community and users of the centre.

We will not make a decision until we have heard and considered the views of those affected. We will use the feedback to create a proposal that Dorset Council Cabinet will make the final decision on.

If you have any questions or need the survey in a different format please contact: darren.spreadbury@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Take the survey

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