Sport & leisure venues affected as Manchester City Council proposes £30m cuts

The National Cycling Centre is one of the venues that may have to pool and reduce its back office resources / Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

Several sport and leisure facilities in Manchester, such as the National Cycling Centre, Taekwondo Centre and Squash Centre, may be forced to share back office services as the city council attempts to save £30m. 

Manchester City Council announced a raft of cuts as part of its 2017-2020 budget review after central government’s financial settlement fell £1.2m short of what was anticipated. 

Sport and leisure was not immune to the cuts, with the council attempting to find £100,000 of savings by merging the operations of facilities such as the National Cycling Centre, Taekwondo Centre and Squash Centre in East Manchester, which are run by the Eastlands Trust. 

National governing body British Cycling is based at the former. 

Wythenshawe Forum, which has a swimming pool, gym and sports hall, may also have to reduce its own back office operations as part of the cuts. 

Elsewhere, Manchester City Council will reduce grounds maintenance in community sports pitches by £25,000. This figure was proposed to be much higher at £100,000, but was met with local opposition during the consultation process. 

The largest chunk of savings for the council from the sports and leisure sector will be through the review of the contract for its sport and leisure facilities. 

GLL currently has the contract to operate local authority venues, but that agreement comes up for tender. 

According to Manchester City Council, the agreement of a longer terms contract with a facilities operator will save £650,000, taking into account the current financial success of the centres. 

Last June, Sports Management reported that Manchester City Council, as part of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, established a pilot with Sport England and other public sector organisations to fund the fight against inactivity. 

The council’s budget review revealed that such partnerships will save a further £100,000 in spending. 

First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk. Written by Matthew Campelli    4 Jan 2017