SPORTS CENTRE USERS BEING SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMMODATED DURING TRANSITION PERIOD
Ninety per cent of hirers at Brightlingsea and Harwich Sports Centres have already been accommodated as part of the transition of operations at the site.
Agreements between the site owners Sigma Trust and Tendring District Council (TDC) for the authority to run the centres ended on 31 December 2021, and a three-month transition period is now drawing to a close.
So far just over 90 per cent of hirers have agreed new booking arrangements with Sigma Trust – with confidence that the majority of those outstanding will be able to be accommodated – while fitness classes will continue at alternative facilities.
Meanwhile interest in forming a racquet sports club in Harwich is being progressed and supported by TDC officers.
Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said progress had been very positive.
“This transition work is ongoing, and from 1 April customers will be able to make all their bookings through the Sigma Trust. However, Tendring District Council will continue to support the formation of sports clubs so they can make use of the community facilities at the schools,” Cllr Porter said.
“We are really keen to work with local people to form a club, to ensure sports which have historically been used casually such as squash can continue. We understand this will require a commitment in forming a committee, but in the long term this could ensure their continued use of facilities under the Sigma Trust.
“I am grateful to the Sigma Trust, who have made this transition as smooth as possible, and who remain first-rate partners during this process – which began in July when joint use facilities were first put into our Forward Plan for decision-making.”
A Sigma Trust spokesperson added: “We’re pleased that so many sports centre users will continue to visit our facilities and we look forward to welcoming them directly once the transition period comes to an end.”
At this stage, under the Sigma Trust opening hours will change to reflect the demand for bookings. The Trust has indicated that opening hours will increase if there is a demand and financial case to do so. There has been no proposal put forward to operate the gym facility at Brightlingsea.
As part of the transition process, the facility opening times will be changing over the next week to match the new operating hours.