Agenda item

Colyton Leisure Centre and All Weather Pitch


A report prepared by the Service Lead – Place, Asset & Commercialisation had been circulated in advance, providing an update on the current discussions with Colyton Grammar School (CGS) regarding the realignment of the terms of the existing Management Agreement and Lease agreements, alongside CGS proposals to install a new all-weather pitch (AWP) and associated floodlights.


The report set out the following points, following a recent meeting with CGS:

·        It had been agreed in principle that the Management Agreement for the Sports Centre should be altered to reflect the changes in Sports Hall usage by both parties over the last decade, so that the split of costs is altered from EDDC paying 60% of costs and CGS 40%, to EDDC paying just 40% and CGS 60%.

·        As part of the discussions, CGS had raised the need to replace the AWP and floodlights at an estimated cost in the region of £360k.  CGS are currently fundraising to meet this capital cost but asked whether EDDC would contribute 40%, equating to approximately £144k.  Use of the AWP would then be incorporated in a new lease document securing its long-term future for the general public. 

·        The proposals were currently out to tender and a contractor would be appointed, with a view to starting work during the summer holidays.


Within the report the Forum was asked to consider the following recommendations:

·        A business case is prepared whereby EDDC make a 40% contribution to the AWP and floodlights which is considered in advance of the overall Leisure Strategy review outcomes of shared LED sites.

·        That the Forum support a report direct to Cabinet to consider the contribution to the AWP and floodlights once a fuller business case is developed.  If supported, this will then require an onward recommendation to Council for budget.

·        Discussions continue alongside the production of this report which ensure the necessary changes to the Management Agreement and Lease are captured in revised Heads of Terms and updated documents.


In the absence of the Service Lead – Place, Assets & Commercialisation, the LED CEO verbally outlined the context to the recommendations the Forum was being asked to consider.  It was noted that:

·        If the pitch and floodlights are not repaired this summer, there is a risk that that use of the pitch could be lost over the winter, which would in turn affect the revenue that LED receives from the pitch, equating to approximately £20k per year.

·        The Leisure Strategy will inform members about the importance of the pitch at CGS relative to other pitches in the area; an outline draft of the Strategy is expected in May but the final version will not be available until June/July 2022.


In discussion of the report, the following points were made:

·        It had been apparent for some five years that the life cycle of the pitch was coming to an end. 

·        It was reported anecdotally that the AWP at CGS was very well used by local young people and adults.  If the pitch was lost for a year, it would have a serious impact on these users and local sports teams.

·        It was noted that the AWP gets intense use as a school playground and it was not known whether pupils and students were asked to wear appropriate footwear to avoid damaging the surface.

·        If the AWP is not replaced during the summer holidays 2022, there is unlikely to be another appropriate time for the work to be undertaken before the summer 2023, due to the time it takes to complete the work, and the availability of contractors,

·        There was some work for the Service Lead – Place, Assets & Commercialisation to do in ascertaining the cost and benefit of replacing the AWP this summer and how long it would take for the benefit to work through as a financial return on investment.

·        Views were expressed that it would be appropriate to consider the proposal as part of the budget setting process for next year, by which time the Leisure Strategy would be in place and members could make an informed decision.


In a vote following the discussion, the Forum agreed the following recommendations:


RECOMMENDED TO Cabinet and Council:


1.     To wait for the Leisure Strategy before the proposals for Colyton Leisure Centre and All Weather Pitch are considered again at LED Monitoring Forum.

2.     To ask Colyton Grammar School whether, during the break time, pupils could be using more appropriate footwear for the All Weather Pitch, to help prolong its life.


The Chair thanked everyone for their contribution to the discussion.


The Chair took the opportunity to thank LED Director of Finance, Bridgette Jones, for her contribution to the Forum, since this was Bridgette’s last meeting.


The meeting then went into private session.

Supporting documents: