SCORES of events are being planned for Selby and Tadcaster to mark the 2012 Olympic games.
Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT), who manage leisure services in Selby District, has written to all sports clubs to invite them to become involved in a varied programme of events from cycling to swimming, rugby to football, in the lead up to the games. A full programme of events is expected to be announced in the New Year.
WLCT, who has a 10 year contract to manage leisure services in the district, recently submitted their first Annual Review to Selby District Council.
Key findings in the report showed that following a £1.1m investment programme at Abbey Leisure Centre, gym membership had increased from 1,031 members to more than 2,700.
In 2010/11 there were more than 340,000 visits to Abbey Leisure Centre and Tadcaster Leisure Centre. This represented a reduction in visits from the previous year mainly due to the impact of the six month refurbishment of the new Health and Fitness Centre.
Other key findings in the report included WLCT's expansion of the Sports Development programme which included the development of four new clubs and the successful application for external funding to support a new Rugby League Development Officer.
The report concluded that the first two years of the contract with WLCT had brought a number of improvements "ensuring that Selby District residents receive high quality sport and leisure facilities" and that there remained a number of challenges ahead to develop the service including developing a more comprehensive range of special events to help increase use and revenue from the catering and bar areas of Abbey Leisure Centre.
Mike Lyons, WLCT's Head of Service for Sport and Leisure, said: "We've made a strong start but we won't be resting on our laurels. We're determined to make a difference and continue to broaden the range of sport and leisure activities available to residents."
Selby District Council Executive member, Cllr Gillian Ivey, added: "This partnership has gone from strength-to-strength. We've seen a huge increase in membership of the Abbey Leisure and Tadcaster centres, and we're now looking at ways we can further enhance facilities through additional investment. The Council has also recently set out its commitment to supporting the partnership through a revised maintenance programme for the leisure sites, agreed earlier in the autumn.
"This shows just what can be achieved by being innovative and forward-thinking when looking at how best to deliver services; that's more important than ever before as we face the reality of significant reductions in funding from central Government. What we've shown with this partnership, however, is that we can bring in new investment by working in new ways."