Leisure centre to break even

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington helped to officially open the building last July.
Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington helped to officially open the building last July.

Bridlington’s new seafront leisure centre is predicted to break even in its first 12 months, and will be expected to turn a profit in its second year.

And another key council attraction has also started making money, officers have revealed.

Last week’s meeting of East Riding of Yorkshire Council Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee was moved from its usual home at County Hall in Beverley.

Instead, councillors gathered at the leisure centre to see the facilities and find out about how it is doing commercially in its first seven months.

Ian Rayner, tourism services manager, said: “This centre is predicted to break even this year.

“In year one of a development you have increased costs and additional staff, but our expectations are great.

“We have done absolutely fantastically well.

“I would be aiming for 110% (a 10% profit in year two) and increasing further for the next year.”

The Bridlington centre has almost 3,300 members, making it the third most popular in the county behind facilities in Beverley and Haltemprice.

Staff are expecting there to be between 700,000 and one million uses per year at the £25 million complex.

Mr Rayner said the centre had made an ‘absolutely massive impact’ on Bridlington.

“We saw a massive increase in various areas of Bridlington. Local businesses have said they have been so busy, and it was not an exceptional year weather-wise.

“In the summer, we had hundreds of people coming to swim here, and a large number were from away, from as far afield as Leeds and York.

“They come to swim but then go into town and enjoy the other facilities.”

Other figures presented at the meeting showed that 91% of all classes at the centre are booked online, freeing up reception staff to spend more time with other customers.

However, Darren Stevens, head of culture and information, said it was easy for facilities to fall behind.

And with the budget being reduced every year, that made balancing the books tough

He said: “We have got to keep investing in our leisure centres. It is one of the key challenges.”

There was also good news about another of East Riding Council’s attractions.

Mr Stevens told councillors: “Sewerby Hall has gone from a making a loss to making an operational profit.

“We have improved the facility and the catering offer, and as a listed building, we are looking after it as we should.

“We have made a saving by investing in it, rather than cutting.”