South Carrick Community Leisure are all set to run the new leisure facility in Girvan which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2017.
A paper which was agreed by South Ayrshire Council’s Leadership Panel at a meeting yesterday (Tuesday) agreed that the community group should now enter negotiations to agree a 40 year lease on the facility.
The agreement would also see the council contribute a revenue sum of £200,000 each year for the costs of the building which would be subject to a periodic review and SCCL enter into a service level agreement with the council to outline what services SCCL will be providing.
The move is a big sign of confidence in SCCL’s ability to make the long awaited facility a success, on which construction work is set to begin at the Girvan harbourside in January.
SCCL have been progressing plans to run the facility since this time last year when Chairperson Andrew Sinclair wrote to the Council’s Chief Executive Eileen Howat to consider the group as the future operators of the facility.
Major funds secured by SCCL including from Carrick Futures, Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund and from the William Grants Foundation for constructing the building was all given on the basis SCCL would operate the facility.
In the report to the leadership panel, it is highlighted that SCCL will be bringing an annual revenue contribution of £102,000 to the building and if the operation had been opened up to competition, council officers believe that an other operator would not bring in the same revenue.
The officers also believe there are “unique benefits” of SCCL being the operator, though they do stress that there is a risk to the council of agreeing to let SCCL run the facility.
However, the council say they have been impressed by the work undertaken by the SCCL board on producing a robust business plan which has convinced them they are ready to take on the challenge.
They also highlighted that SCCL are very much aware of the health and safety procedures they will need to abide by in the facility.
The new £5m facility will replace the old Girvan swimming pool.