CHARITY bosses responsible for running leisure and arts services in Burnley say they are confident of a secure financial footing.

An annual report is due to go before a Burnley Council scrutiny meeting next week detailing the finances for 2018/19 for Burnley Leisure.

The trust says it has successfully managed to produce a surplus, before pension adjustments, which has increased reserves and has allowed investment in an overhaul of marketing presence.

Chief executive Gerard Vinton said: "As the company becomes stable and sustainable, we need to look at building on our strengths, developing complimentary activities and diversifying the business into new income streams to assist the council in being able to reduce its grant to us and re-direct its reducing funds into other priorities.

“This can only be achieved through the support of the council in providing capital, which is paid for through the new and additional revenue income we generate.

“Our areas of potential growth are through hospitality and cultural services. We see both of these areas improving our sustainability and adding further to our unique selling point which distinguishes us from other local providers in the charity sector.

“The charity has insufficient reserves to ensure that it can deal with major unexpected adverse developments without direct support from Burnley Council.

“The trustees maintain a regular dialogue with the council to ensure that, should major unexpected adverse developments arise, any difficulties that require attention are addressed in a mutually agreeable manner.

“The trustees are confident that the charity has established diversity of operations, sufficient versatility and control of expenditures of such nature that it is able to adapt to changing circumstances that will arise from time to time under normal business circumstances.

“The trustees have considered the current adverse economic climate when reviewing their reserves policy and are confident, in light of the changes planned that the charity is sufficiently robust and able to continue operating normally whilst it seeks to achieve these targets.

"Burnley Leisure gym membership is currently at 3,500, an 11 per cent increase from April 2018 to April 2019.

"A firm focus on juniors and family has been successful and we continue to build on this whilst ensuring our facilities are up to date and on trend with current equipment standards.

"Online joining was introduced during 2018 which has greatly improved our joining process and streamlined our administration of direct debits."

Mr Vinton will present the accounts to councillors at the meeting in Burnley town hall on Monday next week.