A REVIEW is being carried out to determine options for the future of leisure services in Pendle.

Services in the borough are currently run by Pendle Leisure Trust, which operates them on the council’s behalf.

But the council’s medium-term financial plan shows a £4 million shortfall across 2020-23 and the local authority needs to find ways of saving cash to balance the budget.

The council’s financial position means ways of reducing spending on leisure are being explored.

Advisors have now been appointed to carry out the review, which will consider a range of options for the future of leisure services in the borough.

Among the possibilities are merging with other East Lancashire leisure trusts, consideration of taking services in house, community asset transfers and determining whether any commercial operators would be interested.

Over recent years, the council has worked with the trust to reduce the amount of management fee required to underpin the delivery of services from these facilities.

Since 2009/10, the management fee has reduced by £1.3m so, for the current financial year 2019/20, the leisure trust will receive a management fee from the council of £1.2m.

A report to go before the council’s policy and resources committee next week proposes setting up a leisure services working group, who would evaluate options proposed following the review and report back to a later policy and resources meeting.

Council chief executive, Dean Langton, said: “Underlying the approach to reducing the funding provided to the Pendle Leisure Trust has been a wish to maintain services from as many of the existing facilities as possible, and in particular the three main leisure centres at Nelson (Wavelengths), Colne (Pendle Leisure Centre) and Barnoldswick (West Craven Sports Centre).

“At this stage, this remains the case although the sustainability of this provision will depend on the council’s funding position going forward and the extent of other savings the council is able to achieve.

“It is proposed that the findings and recommendations of the leisure services working group form the basis of a report to a future meeting of the policy and resources committee which in turn will inform the development of the council’s budget for 2020/21.”

The leisure and cultural facilities currently run by Pendle Leisure Trust are Pendle Leisure Centre in Colne, Wavelengths in Nelson, Wast Craven Sports Centre in Barnoldswick, the ACE Centre in Nelson, the Municipal Theatre in Colne and Seedhill running track in Nelson.