Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Threatened Swimming Pools Could Be Saved in Leisure Group Takeover Bid

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Threatened Swimming Pools Could Be Saved in Leisure Group Takeover Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor Reporter

PLANS to save city swimming pools for the community have inched closer after a leisure company from the region stepped in to discuss a take-over.

North Country Leisure which manages pools and sports facilities in Northumberland and Cumbria has made a bid to run Gosforth, Eldon Leisure and Outer West Pools in Newcastle.

Funding for the two pools and the leisure centre was pulled by Newcastle City Council as part of their PS100m budget cuts passed in March 2013.

Managers from North Country Leisure, a social enterprise group, submitted an asset transfer application to Newcastle City Council in October and councilors will now arrange a series of meeting with the group to find out more about their plans.

David Fay, Service Manager for Leisure and Libraries at Newcastle City Council, said: "We are currently pursuing one bid in relation to the asset transfer of Eldon Leisure, Gosforth and Outer West pools.

"We are pleased to be in a position to enter into positive talks and negotiations with an external partner about their bid and will be working towards the best possible outcome for our customer and colleagues.

"We hope to be able to share more detailed information in the near future."

North Country Leisure is listed as the interested party in an email sent out by Nick Cott, Liberal Democrat councillor for West Gosforth, to members of the Friends of Gosforth Pool group.

In his message he explained how Mr Fay had informed him that on Thursday October 24 that three asset transfer bids were reviewed and analysed by a panel of specialist council staff.

A statement he said: "As a result of this meeting, we have decided to hold further discussions with North Country Leisure about Eldon Leisure, Outer West Pool and Gosforth Pool."

Mr Cott's email continued to thank the Friends group for helping run a survey asking pool users their thoughts on a take-over as well as attending the consultation events with the bidders when changes to council funding were announced. …

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