Leisure services such as gyms, pools and sports pitches in Knowsley are being protected for the future, thanks to the creation of a new ‘not for profit’ organisation, Volair, to run them.
Reductions in Government funding for local councils have meant that in some areas these kind of public facilities have had to close down or have had to reduce their opening hours and services offered.
To prevent this happening in Knowsley, the council’s leisure facilities today (April 1, 2016) transfer to a new, not-for-profit company established by the council called Volair.
Volair have taken over the running of all the council’s swimming pools, gyms, sports piches, velodrome, BMX track and fitness classes – all of which were formerly known as ‘Active Knowsley’.
What does this mean for me?
For users of the leisure facilities the only thing you should notice is the change of name – from Active Knowsley to Volair.
All of the current facilities, staff, activities and opening times will remain the same as before. This includes swimming lessons, spinning and aerobic classes, badminton / squash court hire, BMX and Velodrome track sessions, gyms, children’s parties and the soccer pitches.
Will there be a change in my membership price?
No – if you have a current Active Knowsley membership the price you pay remains the same and so do all the other terms and conditions. You do not need to do anything.
Will there be any change to the services provided?
No – The creation of Volair means that services aren’t being cut, they are being maintained.
What does this mean for Active Knowsley staff?
All Active Knowsley staff are being transferred over to Volair and their jobs and roles remain unchanged.
How does this help protect leisure services in Knowsley?
Volair is a bespoke, council owned and controlled organisation that has been established to maintain leisure services across the borough. It’s a ‘not for profit’ organisation so any profits will be ploughed back into the services it provides.
The creation of the new company aims to create sustainable and long-term leisure provision in Knowsley, run at no cost to the council.
Extensive research into alternative options for running leisure services has been conducted and the most favourable option was the creation of a Local Authority Trading Company.
Kevin Schofield, Managing Director of Volair, said: “I’m delighted to be able to maintain the delivery of our popular and valued leisure services across Knowsley.
“As a standalone organisation, Volair will have more flexibility to realise cost savings whilst maintaining and delivery quality facilities and services. What this means for users is that it is business as usual.
“I look forward to welcoming our current members, as well as new customers, to Volair.”
To find out more about the great range of activities and facilities on offer with Volair visit www.volair.org.uk or call 0151 443 2200.