The management of leisure services in Bishops Castle has been transferred from Shropshire Council to Shropshire Community Leisure Trust.

Cabinet approved changes to the management of the SpArC leisure centre at its meeting on October 18 last year.

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust currently runs the council-owned leisure centres in Oswestry and Market Drayton, and two in Shrewsbury – the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre, and Shrewsbury Sports Village – through Serco as managing agent.

The benefits that will result from the management transfer are, the council states: improved marketing and development of the leisure offer at SpArC; a more consistent approach across Shropshire, with the opportunity for a joint membership with other Shropshire Community Leisure Trust centres; increased training and development opportunities, and improved cover, for staff and financial savings.

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said, “In completing the management transfer we can be assured that no change to services will result and, in fact, this will bring the advantage of a more consistent leisure offer across Shropshire, development of the centre for the local community, and increased training and development opportunities for staff, as well as providing financial savings for Shropshire Council.”

Rhys Collins, partnership manager for Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, added: “We are delighted at this opportunity to add a new centre to the Shropshire Community Leisure Trust family, and cannot wait to get started supporting the Bishop’s Castle community with their fitness, wellbeing and leisure needs.”

SpArC offers a 3G floodlit pitch, 21 station gym, a three court sports hall, two glass-backed squash courts, a four-lane 20 metre swimming pool, sauna and theatre studio, the latter offering high quality, accessible arts opportunities for people living in Bishops Castle and the wider south Shropshire area.

The transfer will not result in changes to what is offered at SpArC, opening hours or staffing; and it is not envisaged there will be any negative effect on equalities, social inclusion or health.

Consultation with local councillors, SpArC trustees, service users and staff has also shown there is enthusiasm for the management transfer.