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Is a new firm stepping in to run Spalding's Castle Sports Complex and Castle Swimming Pool?

A new firm could take charge of Spalding's Castle Swimming Pool and Castle Sports Complex next year.

Both facilities are currently run on South Holland District Council's behalf by the leisure company 1Life.

The council has awarded a five-year contract starting in March to an unnamed provider as part of a plan to improve services.

The Castle Swimming Pool has been under fire from users who complained about cold water and dirty conditions.
The Castle Swimming Pool has been under fire from users who complained about cold water and dirty conditions.

The council is staying tight-lipped about who might step in, and the Spalding Guardian understands the reason for that is that rival firms tendering for the contract are allowed to challenge the council's choice, but only for a limited time.

The council has issued a statement quoting Coun Gary Taylor, its portfolio holder for communities and facilities, but has declined to explain the contents or give more details at this stage.

Coun Taylor said:"In order to provide an enhanced leisure offer for the district of South Holland over the next five years, members at a full council meeting on Wednesday, November 28 supported unanimously the proposals to award a leisure management contract to commence on March 1, 2019.

"The decision and intention to award a contract has now been made following an open competitive tender process and, to satisfy procurement regulations, we will be entering a 10-day standstill period.

"More details will be made public shortly."

Coun Angela Newton told us she was delighted to hear about the award of a new contract starting early next year.

Coun Newton hopes the decision "will see a change in the offer available to our residents, and hopefully, a much improved facility".

We asked 1Life for a comment but none was received at the time of going to press.

* Both the council and 1Life have been under fire from the public over leisure facilities in Spalding.

Complaints over the last few years chiefly centred on the Castle Swimming Complex, with some people hitting out at dirt and mould in changing rooms while others said the pool water was too cold.

Last year, Coun Angela Newton said the council should enforce its contract with 1Life so everything runs as it should.

She said then that "some say our sports facilities are being seen as second rate by visitors".


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