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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Campaign to save community leisure services

This news post is about 4 years old
 

A new campaign aims to highlight the importance of public funding for local swimming pools and cultural facilities

Community Leisure UK, the umbrella body for independent culture and leisure trusts, has launched a campaign to protect public services.

The organisation, which supports bodies like Edinburgh Leisure, Glasgow Life and Leisure & Culture Dundee, launched the campaign following a rebrand, which saw it change its name from Sporta.

Cate Atwater, chief executive of Community Leisure UK, said: “Charitable trusts don’t tend to shout about it, but they have managed to not only keep facilities open and effective services delivering, but improve and develop them thanks to the valuable support of their communities and partners.

“But, as we hear on the news daily, many public services are now at breaking point. So, it’s a simple request now – if we want public leisure and cultural facilities and services to still be there in ten years, we need to enable local authorities, policy makers and community leisure trusts to protect and invest in those services.”

Many community leisure trusts are local authority arms length external organisations (ALEOs), which means they receive their funding from local councils but are run as independent charities.

This provides them with opportunities to be more business-like and to raise funds from other sources, such as trusts and foundations and public giving. However, it has also led in many cases to dramatic cuts in local authority funding.

Edinburgh Leisure, which operates a range of sports facilities across the city and a special programme for people who find it hard to exercise, backed the new campaign and the organisation.

June Peebles, chief executive of Edinburgh Leisure said: “We are passionate about the power of physical activity; it is a force for good and one of the best things you can do for your health.

“The current economic climate is challenging but we are committed to working with our main funder and partner, the City of Edinburgh Council, and other local partners to continue to make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of the city.

“Community Leisure UK is working on our behalf at a national level with government, the NHS and other key partners so that we can all work together to protect our much needed and valued services, supporting the health and wellbeing of current and future generations.”

As well as leisure centres and swimming pools, independent community trusts also operate parks, museums, libraries and galleries.

 

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