Council to seek external provider for three Cleethorpes attractions

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North East Lincolnshire Council has been recommended to hand over the management of three major attractions in the Cleethorpes area to an external provider in order to save money.

The council has been undertaking a review the management, maintenance and operational arrangements at Meridian Showground, the Discovery Centre and Cleethorpes Paddling Pool.

Lincs Inspire, a charity which runs leisure centres on behalf of the council, will be offered the option of taking on the services as part of their contract.

If however no agreement is reached, the attractions will be subject to a public procurement exercise to find a third party who wants to take them on.

If the management of the facilities are transferred, the move will save around £95,000 from the council’s budget for 2017/18.

Councillor Hazel Chase, portfolio holder for tourism, said: “The council is facing significant funding reductions and needs to look at delivering services more efficiently across the board.

“We understand how important the facilities are to the people of North East Lincolnshire and to our visitors, and we don’t want to lose these.

“The facilities are well used, but it’s no longer cost effective for the council to manage them: we need a partner to come on board to help us deliver quality events, leisure services and activities at these facilities.”

The Discovery Centre was opened in 1997 and currently offers space for art exhibitions, as well as hosting two cafes and the ABP Observatory. It also has the children’s sandpit and play area next to it and the paddling pool nearby.

The Meridian Showground opened in 2008, and has a four acre grassed space for hosting a variety of outdoor events, including this year, the Race for Life, the Fake Festival, the Scooter Rally, the 1940s weekend and the Meridian Live weekend, featuring Craig David.

Grimsby Paddling Pool was closed for a spell last year due to health and safety concerns. It was reopened after the council made a number of repairs.