Council set to hand a string of leisure facilities to local communities in Milton Keynes

Local people will have more control over their own amenities

By Sally Murrer
Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 11:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 11:08 am

Councillors have agreed to hand a number of large MK leisure facilities to local communities and organisations to run.

The venues are currently being run by contract holders Inspire All, but the freehold and responsibility for each will now be transferred the relevant parish councils.

Walnut Tree Sports Ground and Pavilion will go to Walton Community Council, while Westcroft Meeting Place, North Furzton pavilion and sports ground and Westcroft pavilion and sports ground will all be handed to Shenley Brook End and Tattenhoe Parish Council.

Two more leisure facilities will also be removed from the Inspire All contract. These are Hodge Lea Pavilion and sports ground, which will now be go on a 25 year lease to MK United football club, Oakgrove Leisure Centre, to be leased by Kingsbridge Academy Trust (Oakgrove School).

Meanwhile Warwick Road Activity Centre in Bletchley, has been marked 'for disposal' with the Housing Development Board.

Ten more ten community centres in Mk will eventually handed back to parish councils.

The remaining five facilities, which include Bletchley Leisure Centre, will continue to be managed through the leisure management contract with Inspire All.

All transfers are in line with an 'Asset Rationalisation Plan' drawn up by MK Council in a bid to secure the 'long-term sustainability and financial viability' of Inspire All for continued delivery of the Leisure Management Contract until 2024.

The decision will mean that local communities will have more control over their own leisure and community facilities, with long term revenue savings for Milton Keynes Council, say Progressive Alliance council leaders,

Councillor Jane Carr, Liberal Democrat Cabinet member for leisure and community assets said: “MK Council wants to make sure these much-loved community facilities have a bright future, and we will put the power to make this happen in the hands of local people and organisations.”

She added: “Local town and parish councils deserve to have control over their own leisure and community facilities. They’re in the best position to make sure that local activities and facilities are in line with what the local community truly wants.

“By transferring these assets, I look forward to seeing even more community centres, pavilions and sports grounds thrive in the future.”