Clackmannanshire Council agreed to close Alloa Leisure Bowl and end the management agreement it has with Wasp Leisure Limited (WLL) to run the facility at its meeting today.
Extensive property surveys of the Leisure Bowl have identified substantial upgrade and maintenance costs, including modifications to ensure a Covid safe operating environment.
Due to the prolonged and increasingly uncertain Covid-19 closure and the escalating property costs, the Council has agreed that continuing leisure operations at the Leisure Bowl no longer represents best value.
The current management agreement was due to end in 2019 after a 10 year contract period; however the Council previously agreed to extended it to March 2021 subject to reaching agreement with WLL and negotiations were continuing when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March 2020. Alloa Leisure Bowl has remained closed since then, although the Council has continued to make monthly payments in full to WLL during that period.
The Council has agreed that a full leisure provision options report should be brought before councillors as soon as possible, to include proposals for long term leisure provision in Clackmannanshire, and interim arrangements, including access to swimming as Covid restrictions permit.
Place Committee Convenor Councillor Craig Holden said: “This was not an easy decision but one that was necessary given unsustainable costs in the face of an uncertain operating environment.
“Health and wellbeing rests at the heart of the Council’s transformation programme, and as such, we will be bringing options to Council as a priority to ensure that our leisure facilities are sustainable and can meet community need into the long term. This will include access to swimming options.
“The Council extends its appreciation to WLL for it operation of the Leisure Bowl for the last 10 years, and hope that both organisations can continue to work together in some form in the future to promote and develop active living opportunities for local residents.”