Wirral Council appoints Leisure Transformation Partner via ESPO’s National Consultancy Services framework (664) to help meet its financial challenges

Published on 09/09/2015

The requirement

Wirral Council’s financial challenges required budget reductions of at least £109m between 2013/14 - 2015/16 and Leisure Services was identified as an area of focus with the following aims:

  • An efficient/effective service model in line with corporate priorities.
  • Considerably reduced budget.
  • Facilities/services meet the requirements of the community, in particular the disadvantaged.

V4 Services carried out a Strategic Review of the Council’s leisure services. A report was presented which cited a range of actions necessary to support the Leisure Transformation Programme.

The immediate challenge was to deliver £429k savings (2013/14) without closures or a detrimental impact on service provision or the vulnerable.  Further savings targets for 2014/15 and 2015/16 amounted to a reduction of around 44% of the net controllable budget of £5.5m.

The solution

The review involved consideration of:

  • Leisure centres and joint use facilities.
  • Swimming pools.
  • A tennis and fitness centre.
  • Sailing Centre.
  • Sports development.
  • Beach lifeguarding.
  • Golf courses.

Savings options were identified and followed up with hands-on support to deliver the required outcomes. V4 Services worked with the Council to design and deliver the transformation/ savings plan which included eight work streams:
  • Cross agenda working (primary care, health economy, social care, schools).
  • Transforming the performance culture and improving marketing/communications.
  • Exploring new ways of working, including more flexible roles/responsibilities.
  • Transforming pricing/programming, including concessionary pricing policies.
  • Transforming the golf business, and reviewing alternative options.
  • Exploring partnership working, with shared funding models and opportunities for more funding from health and social care commissioners.
  • Investing capital to save revenue and capital investment to develop new facilities.

The results

  • Pricing policy review and fundamental change in concessions to target those for whom price is a genuine access barrier.
  • More flexible job descriptions/work patterns aligned to new programme/customers’ needs.
  • Key performance metrics/reporting system to enable better monitoring.
  • Service re-design with revised senior management structure to reflect performance objectives and improved accountability.
  • Savings in excess of £1m (2013/14), with further savings of £1m (2015/16) identified and a delivery plan.
  • Refocused resource on driving sales/retention with increased sales/memberships.

“V4 Services impressed us from the beginning with a very comprehensive strategic review of our sports and leisure services. They used an analytical approach to identifying opportunities for transformational change, providing clear evidence to support their detailed recommendations.”

Clare Fish, Strategic Director for Families and Wellbeing

To view the Consultancy Services framework (664) please click here

For further information, please contact: 

Professional Services Team
0116 294 4075

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Youth Sport Trust
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