Posted: Tue 27th Sep 2022

Councillors back plans to give Plas Madoc leisure centre 99 year lease for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Sep 27th, 2022

A community-run leisure centre is set to receive long-term security after councillors backed plans to award it a 99 year lease.

Plas Madoc Leisure Centre was taken on by members of the public in 2014 following threats of closure and demolition from Wrexham Council.

However since being overtaken and operated by Splash Community Trust the centre has gone from strength to strength and now provides multiple facilities and services to residents across the county borough.

Although the trust has been successful in securing grants since its takeover eight years ago, major organisations require a minimum of 25 years left on a lease for applicants seeking to secure funding.

Today members of the council’s executive board backed a move to negotiate a 99 year lease “on similar terms and conditions as the existing lease” to replace the current 20 lease that is in place.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Hugh Jones, who was the relevant lead member at the time Plas Madoc was handed to a trust, paid tribute to the work that had been carried out by the trust and members of the community since 2014.

Cllr Jones said: “At the time I think, in fairness, some of us were concerned about the size of the task that Splash Magic was taking on.

But they had a degree of confidence and a degree and drive and energy.

“I would just like to pay tribute to the work that they’ve done over the years, the changes they’ve made to the building itself, the facilities that provide for the community and the funding which they have managed to secure has been really first class.

“So I fully support this, I’m delighted to say that they have achieved the success they have achieved to date.”

Cllr Dana Davies, who spoke on behalf of local councillors Stella Matthews and Paul Blackwell, said the success of Plas Madoc “demonstrates what trusting community mobilisation can achieve.”

She called on Wrexham Council to consider working alongside third sector organisations who could help deliver its services going forward.

Cllr Davies said: “This report is so important and it’s important to a number of third section organisations as well.

“Much of the success of Plas Madoc has been as a result of the funding they have been able to attract.

“It does demonstrate what us trusting community mobilisation can achieve, because in effect what this organisation has done for us, is they’ve increased the value of our assets.

“When we gave the original lease the energy rating was F, through crowdfunding and the work that they’ve done it’s now an energy rating B.

“I think we need to have an informed discussion around us trusting and community mobilisation. Because as we go through our budget process, we’re going to realise very early on that we can’t do anything and everything. So we need to be trusting that community mobilisation.

“I hope and I would welcome for all of us to have that informed discussion going forward.”

A council officer told the meeting that that Plas Madoc was a good example of how asset transfer “can work in practice” and that it is something that can be “looked at going forward.”

Wrexham Council will now work alongside Splash Magic Community Trust to negotiate and conclude the terms of the new lease.

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