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£1m-a-year cost of Louth leisure centre defended as 'value for money'

By Louth Target  |  Posted: July 11, 2012

The Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth

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THE million pound cost of maintaining the district's showcase indoor sports venue in Louth has been defended amid claims it does not reflect good value for money.

Leader of the Independent group Councillor Terry Knowles, chaired a group which investigated sports and leisure provision within East Lindsey.

Its subsequent report revealed the total cost of the Louth-based Meridian Leisure Centre, including depreciation, is about £1million per year – approximately £7 per year for every resident in the district.

Manby representative Mr Knowles told a meeting of the council's overview committee: "The panel is of the opinion that this represents good value – and I'm happy to stick to that view."

He acknowledged that many people in East Lindsey never used the centre, but he said that it was a "fact of life" that residents used different local authority facilities and services in differing proportions.

However, Councillor Sarah Dodds said it was doubtful if people on the coast ever visited the Meridian, and she queried why a comparable figure had not been produced for the corresponding facility in Skegness.

Councillor Jeremy Webb argued that comparative figures should have been provided from other local authorities.

He claimed that some authorities – he pinpointed Bracknell Forest in Berkshire – made a profit, rather than a loss, on their leisure services.

Mr Knowles replied that he was satisfied that the Meridian was being managed "progressively", with efforts being made to attract additional revenue streams through diversification.

He said: "If current progress is maintained, the deficit could be halved within a couple of years."

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  • RupertTbruin  |  August 04 2012, 12:31PM

    mmm......too early to say conclusively, but across the nation these places are well known money pits. Some have had to close and in Ludlow councillors were threatened with a counter-charge in six figures each. Should be a salutary lesson to those in charge.

  • Tom_Whimpole  |  July 12 2012, 9:33AM

    What? Things cost money to run? Outrageous!

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