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Trafford Council to loan £2.5m to leisure trust

Trafford Council is set to loan a leisure centre company £2.5m, in order to support renovations and two new leisure centres in Altrincham and Stretford, as well as help provide a pay increase to staff.

According to councillors, the decision was made to loan the money to the Trafford Leisure Community Interest Company, which runs six leisure centres and sports hubs across the council’s borough, because it was suffering short-term cashflow issues.

A key part of their local communities, the leisure centres’ operations were under threat through the financial difficulties, while some of the trust’s staff had not had a pay rise in nine years. Cllr Andrew Western, Trafford Council’s leader, said the authority must step in to stop "good people" from leaving the company.

Cllr Western said: "I believe this is incredibly important. Some staff now haven't had a pay increase in nine years and that is absolutely unacceptable.

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"It is extremely important, we are already losing very good people. We need to give these members of staff a proper pay structure and a pay increase.

"I am very proud to be doing this as a council."

The loan forms part of a wider £60m investment the trust is expected to receive from now until 2024, through a range of sources. The objective is to attempt to secure the profitability and viability of the company, allowing it to continue to benefit the community in the future.

Trafford Council have a borough-wide scheme aimed at increasing physical activity levels and improve health and wellbeing among Trafford residents – part of which has involved the supporting of the leisure trust to ensure residents have facilities to help with these objectives.


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