Funding to East Devon sport cut

THE trust charged with running Exmouth’s sport centre and the Withycombe-based tennis centre will see its public subsidy slashed by �57,500.

THE trust charged with running Exmouth’s sport centre and the Withycombe-based tennis centre will see its public subsidy slashed by �57,500.

From April 1, Leisure East Devon (LED) will see the reduction - five per cent of its �1.15m annual subsidy from East Devon District Council.

Peter Gilpin, the LED chief executive, told town councillors last year that the level of the subsidy across the district, which paid for three swimming pools, seven sports centres, a tennis centre and Exmouth Pavilion, was proving “increasingly hard to justify.”

The subsidy is approximately a quarter of LED’s annual �5m budget, but, he said, LED was value for money with the subsidy a little over �300,000 per centre per year - lower than most other local authorities.


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He said: “There is not one public swimming pool in the country that is not subsided by a local authority.

“In fact, many authorities have closed their swimming pools – we run three.”

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The reduction of five per cent is in the calculated management fee paid by EDDC to LED. For each of the following four years, the council’s contribution will be cut on a ‘reducing balance’ basis.

But, if LED can demonstrate that, in any year, the reduction will threaten its business viability for the following year, the reduction can be reviewed.

The reduction also depends on any ‘mutually beneficial’ improvements or repairs to facilities made by LED in the previous year.

LED is looking to invest �1.2m into facilities by the end of this year.

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