Local consultants are working with Stafford Borough Council on delivering two major leisure projects.
Stafford-based V4 Services Ltd will be involved in helping deliver plans to safeguard leisure and cultural facilities in the Borough, while Birmingham-based Mace will be working with the Council on a £6 million project to develop a popular park.
New leisure facilities at Stone’s Westbridge Park include a new leisure centre with a six-lane swimming pool, and a children’s and teenage play area.
A possible new sports hall and 3g artificial soccer pitch at Alleyne’s Academy and improved football pitches at Walton Common also feature in the proposals, with a new M&S Simply Foods Store on the already developed land in the park helping fund the project. As part of the scheme local guides will also be relocated into a purpose built new guide hut.
Meanwhile, the Council is looking at how some of the leisure services it provides could be run by a charitable trust. Becoming a trust would allow costs to be reduced, could also lead to greater buying power, and is expected to save the authority around £540,000 a year – while protecting existing services.
The move will protect popular venues and events such as Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Shakespeare at the Castle, and leisure centres in Stafford and Stone. And the Council is not looking to cut jobs as part of the plans.
Some functions, such as the management of the award-winning Victoria Park and Wildwood Park, will still be run by the Council. While the proposed developments for the new leisure centre and play facilities at Stone’s Westbridge Park in Stone would also be unaffected by the move.
The Council has earmarked £150,000 to implement the proposals by October 2017 and there will be a national search for a partner to run the services as a charitable trust.
Stone’s new leisure centre should be completed by February 2018.
Stephen Laird, V4’s Director of Development, said:
“We work across the UK but to be involved in this particular project in Stafford, the town where we are based, is fantastic. We see ourselves as delivery partners, working alongside the Council to achieve their ambitious plans for providing first class facilities and services to the community.”
Paul Robertson, Project Manager at Mace, said:
“We appreciate how important the project in Stone is for the Borough and look forward to working with the Council on seeing it through.”
Adam Hill, Head of Leisure and Culture at the Borough Council, said:
“We are pleased to be working with two local businesses on these important projects.
Both have a strong track record of delivering results and they also have great links within our borough, which will be a key element in seeing these initiatives through to fruition.”