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Gloucestershire Business News

Council completes bidding process for leisure and cultural providers

Cotswold District Council has completed a full procurement process to identify providers to run its leisure and culture services.

These contracts include three leisure centres and the Corinium Museum & Resource Centre.

Subject to completion of contracts, the council is looking to award contracts for the services in the next few days.

Cllr Jenny Forde, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "As a council, we have a very clear direction of what we want our leisure centres to deliver as a part of our wider strategy and approach - particularly our 10-year Active Cotswold programme. This programme responds to what our residents have told us they want and need to live more active lives.

"As our current contract for running the leisure and culture facilities is coming to the end of its term, we started a procurement process to identify suitable service providers and set our aspirations for the leisure and culture services. Our aims were clear that we want to not only get best value for the taxpayer, but also improve our current services.

"Over recent years we have invested in our leisure centres, upgrading all the gym equipment last year, along with installing energy saving equipment which has reduced the council's carbon footprint by 30% and made the centres much cheaper to run.

"This has been especially important given the struggles the entire sector is facing in managing hugely increased running costs as energy prices have risen. It has meant our centres are in a much better place than many across the country and we have not had to reduce opening hours or close swimming pools.

"As part of this new contract, we will be investing a further £1.2m to improve our leisure centres for residents."

The Corinium Museum's Stone Age to Corinium project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage fund, donations, sponsorship and district council contribution, saw an investment of £1.87m into the museum to improve the galleries and to enhance the educational and activity programme.

Cllr Forde continued: "We have run a very thorough process to get to this stage, where we can appoint preferred bidder(s), making sure we are picking the best operator for our leisure and cultural services. I would like to thank all the bidders from across the sectors for their submissions."

At the full council meeting on March 15, councillors agreed to award contracts to the preferred bidders, after refining and reviewing the submissions received from the market through the procurement process. The award decision was taken in a closed session due to commercial confidentiality.

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