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Vivacity, which manages St George's, hands its contract back to the Council

By : St George's Community Hydrotherapy Pool

Thursday, 18 June 2020

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Today it was announced that Vivacity, which manages many of Peterborough's popular leisure and cultural venues, including St George's Community Hydrotherapy Pool, has handed its contract back to Peterborough City Council.

Peter Appleton, Vivacity's Chief Executive Officer, gave the following statement:

"It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that as a direct result of the financial impact of Covid-19, Vivacity, Peterborough’s charity for culture, leisure and heritage, has today announced that it will terminate its contract with the City Council. Terminating our contract with them has triggered a 90-day transition period during which services including 10 libraries, the Key Theatre, museum, Lido, Flag Fen, Regional Pool and the health and leisure facilities at Bretton, Dogsthorpe, Hampton, Netherton, Orton and Werrington will transfer back to the Council, as the Council makes decisions on future delivery models.

Since the announcement of the national lockdown on 20 March, Vivacity’s facilities and services have been closed and 98% of its c500 employees placed on furlough. This has had a devastating impact on the charity’s revenue with an estimated £8 million loss of annualised income. In addition, Vivacity is expecting a slow return to previous volumes of gym usage which drives the bulk of the income to support its full range of services. The leisure/fitness sector is widely predicting customer volume and revenue will be down by as much as 50% with recovery taking up to 18 months from the lifting of lockdown restrictions. This immediate shock comes alongside the well-publicised budget pressures of the Council that have resulted in continued reductions in its contributions to Vivacity.

Regrettably, given this combination of financial pressures, the Trustees cannot see a viable future that allows Vivacity to continue to deliver its charitable objectives to promote health and well-being and arts and culture in the city. We have concluded that the only option for Peterborough and for the charity’s employees is to give notice to terminate the contract with the Council as of 18 June 2020.

The Trustees recognise how vital culture and leisure services are to the people of Peterborough. This decision has been made with enormous regret and only after we have made exhaustive efforts to find a way forward that could have guaranteed a sustainable future for the charity and the services it provides. We are proud of what Vivacity has achieved over the last ten years and of the immense efforts of our people, including our hundreds of passionate volunteers.

We will now work closely with the Council to support our employees as far as possible. I am acutely aware of how difficult this situation will be for them. It is their efforts and the fantastic support of our 116,000 customers that has enabled Vivacity to help put Peterborough on the cultural map and make such a difference to the lives of those who live here.

Since its creation in 2010 Vivacity has worked with many partners to deliver a greatly enhanced leisure and cultural offer for Peterborough. A recent independent study calculated that the charity contributes £60 million of social value to the city every year. Over that time, it has also increased its revenues by 177% and enabled a 70% reduction in Council funding. Vivacity’s services attract over 1.8 million visits a year. Peterborough has also benefitted that while others have seen library closures, Vivacity has been opening more of them, including the book bus.

Vivacity is not insolvent and has sufficient financial reserves to manage the transfer of the contract back to the Council and to honour all outstanding financial commitments.

I am personally deeply saddened that totally unforeseen circumstances have led to this decision, and would like to take this opportunity to thank you in anticipation of your continued support over the coming weeks."

Yours faithfully,

Peter Appleton

Chief Executive Officer

Contact Information

St George's Community Hydrotherapy Pool

Find St George's Community Hydrotherapy Pool

367 Dogsthorpe Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 3RE

DIRECTIONS

Additional Information

You can contact the pool by emailing: stgeorges@vivacity.org The pool is part of the old St George’s School building (now Heltwate St George's). The entrance is on Dogsthorpe Road near the Dogsthorpe fire station. There is free car park by the pool's entrance.