West Lancs village takes over leisure centre as CIC

'Our aim is to create a hub for local residents that will offer something for everyone'

Villagers in West Lancashire village now run their own leisure centre following a successful asset transfer.

Banks Leisure Centre, which is owned by the Department of Health and Social Care, was previously operated by West Lancashire Borough Council as part of a long-term lease agreement.

The council’s lease came to an end in March, and the parish and borough councils have worked with a number of partners to safeguard the future of the facility.

This work has resulted in the formation of a new Community Interest Company, Banks Community and Leisure Centre CIC, who have taken on the lease for the building.

The new company will now work with a range of partners including North Meols Parish Council, Endeavour Community and West Lancashire Borough Council to operate the facility as a hub for the community in Banks, a large village near Southport.

The centre will continue to host a range of sports and community sessions and hopes to add a range of new sessions in partnership with the community.

Bill Abram, chair of North Meols Parish Council and a director of the new CIC, said: “The leisure centre will be run by the community and for the community of Banks. Our aim is to create a hub for local residents that will offer something for everyone. We have recruited a number of local volunteers who are willing to help and support us in a range of tasks that will help with the day to day operation of the building.

“Additionally, our new company has Community Interest status which will allow us to apply for a range of different funding sources and grants and this will make the operation of the facility more sustainable in the future.”

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