The association of charitable trusts is focusing a national campaign on supporting the retention and development of public leisure and culture facilities and services, including those managed by Fife Sports and Leisure Trust (FSLT).
The trust model, which invests every penny generated back into community services and facilities, has proven successful across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But funding pressures on local government, increasing demand for services across the lifespan, and rising costs such as energy, are creating a fragile landscape.
The umbrella organisation for trusts, Community Leisure UK - formerly Sporta - is committed to supporting FSLT and our local partners in our vision to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our communities, breaking down barriers to social inclusion and supporting all ages.
Cate Atwater, Chief Executive of Community Leisure UK, explained: “The charitable trust model has helped to protect and develop our public services in tough economic times, ensuring every penny of income goes back into your community. Communities need local, public leisure services, delivered by those who put the needs of their locality first.
“As we hear on the news daily, many public services are now at breaking point. So, it’s a simple request now - if we want public leisure and cultural facilities and services to still be there in 10 years, we need to enable local authorities, policy makers and community leisure trusts to protect and invest in those services. And it’s about more than financial investment - investment is about building a true, transparent and long-term partnership.”
Ed Watson, Chief Executive of FSLT stated: “We are passionate about the power of physical activity; it is a force for good and one of the best things you can do for your health. We want everyone in Fife to be active and we offer a wide range of opportunities for people of all ages to be and stay active. We also have an extensive programme of activities for people who need that bit more support to be active. The current economic climate is challenging but we are committed to working with our main funder and partner, Fife Council and other local partners to continue to make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of the communities in Fife.
“Community Leisure UK is working on our behalf at a national level with Government, the NHS and other key partners so that we can all work together to protect our much needed and valued services, supporting the health and wellbeing of current and future generations.”