Trafford Community Leisure Trust was established in 2003 to provide sport and leisure opportunities for Trafford and the surrounding areas.
Trafford Community Leisure Trust is a ‘company limited by guarantee’, not having share capital. The Trust has charitable status and is a ‘not for profit’ organisation. Trafford Community Leisure Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees, who are all representatives of the local community and bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the organisation.
From April 2003 until October 2015, Trafford Community Leisure Trust managed leisure facilities across the Borough of Trafford under an Agreement with Trafford Council. In addition to the ‘facility’ based work, the Trust also had a very active and successful Sports Coaching Team and an Active Living Team providing a variety of physical activity opportunities for children and adults across the Borough. The Trust also managed over 100 football pitches across the Borough on behalf of the Council.
Over the past few years the Trust has been working with the Council to find a long term solution to the long term sustainability of community leisure in Trafford. Unfortunately at the beginning of 2014, Trafford Council informed the Trust that by April 2016 it intended to reduce the funding the Trust was receiving from the Council from its current level of £1.1million to zero within two years. This funding had historically been made available to the Trust to ensure that all sections of the community could access sport and leisure. In April 2014, the Council gave the Trust 12 months’ notice to terminate the existing Agreements between the two parties, whilst work towards a new arrangement progressed. Throughout this period the Trust carried on working with the Council to try and find a sustainable long term solution, but in August 2014 the Council informed the Trust that although it was prepared to transfer the existing facilities across to the Trust, it could only make a partial contribution to the outstanding Council maintenance lia bilities and that Trafford Community Leisure Trust would have to totally fund the replacement of Altrincham Leisure Centre.
Despite exploring a number of options, it became clear that the level of capital funding required to complete the outstanding Council maintenance liabilities, to invest in the development of the existing Centres and to replace Altrincham Leisure Centre, whilst continuing to operate the Centres with no subsidy was unattainable, so in March 2015 the Trust informed the Council that we were unable to provide the £20 – £25million capital required. As the Agreement between the Council and the Trust was just about to terminate there was little more that the Trust could do. To ensure that there was no short term impact on the service, however, the Trust agreed a six month extension to the existing agreement to assist the Council in transferring the service to a new provider.
The Council are looking for a new long term partner who they hope will be able to bring to the table the level of capital required to fund that are required in the facilities,some of which are approaching fifty years old and are well past their sell-by date. In the meantime they have set up a Community Interest Company, Trafford Leisure and all of the staff from the Trust have transferred over to the new organisation.
The Trust has worked closely with the Council to ensure that the transfer to the new Community Interest Company is as seamless as possible and wherever possible ensuring that the Trust’s ex employees and customers are not impacted by the change. As part of its legacy, Trafford Community Leisure Trust has bequeathed approximately flmilion of equipment and improvements to the facilities to the community. Under the conditions of the Agreement with the Council, the Trust could have claimed the value of the equipment and any outstanding depreciation/valuation on capital improvements. However, provided the equipment and the facilities remain accessible to the
community, then Trafford Community Leisure Trust will not be claiming this.
The 30th September 2015 was a sad day for Trafford Community Leisure Trust when it stopped delivering the leisure service to the people of Trafford. The Trust hopes the Council can find a long term partner who has the necessary capital resources available to fund the improvements that are required in the facilities. Whilst Trafford Community Leisure Trust may not be delivering leisure services to the people of Trafford in the future, we hope we have served the community well over the past 12 and a half years and we wish you all a healthy and active future.