£7m funding will put Sheffield City Trust in best position for 'smooth transition' to new operator

Officials are ‘working closely’ to ensure the continued operation of Sheffield’s leisure facilities and a ‘smooth and secure transition’ to a new operator.

Thursday, 17th March 2022, 6:17 am

All scheduled events will go ahead and Sheffield City Trust and the city council will continue to work on booking new acts and shows, Coun Cate McDonald, executive member for finance and resources, said.

The reassurance comes after the Trust asked for £7m to keep going until it hands back facilities in 2024. It is the latest in a string of payments.

WHAT IS THE COUNCIL SAYING ABOUT THE PAYMENTS?

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Coun Cate McDonald. Picture Scott Merrylees

But Coun McDonald said the Trust had relied on financial support from the council for many years so that it was a ‘going concern’ for accounting and audit purposes.

The new funding would put the authority in the ‘best possible position’ to deliver our plans’, she added.

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Coun McDonald said: “It’s essential that the Council and Trust work closely to provide financial support for the remaining period, that is clear and formalised.

Bring Me The Horizon at Sheffield Arena.

“This is to ensure the continued operation of the facilities and activities, protect customers and staff, and to enable a smooth and secure transition when the time comes.

“That includes the events programme at the Arena, City Hall and other venues. All the events that are on the schedule will go ahead as planned and we’ll continue to work with SCT to book new, exciting acts and shows into the future.

“The Council agreed a 30-year leisure and entertainment strategy in November last year, with over £100million of investment committed to meet our priorities of inclusive, top quality leisure provision.

“It’s an exciting time for the city and the funding that we will provide to SCT now will put us in the best possible position to deliver our future plans.”

WHAT DO FINANCE OFFICIALS SAY ABOUT THE TRUST?

In a council report, officers said the fresh funding was to ‘avoid a potential insolvency situation that could have significant impact on the delivery of these services in the short to medium term’.

But they added that the business plan proposed by the Trust was considered to be ‘very prudent’.

Sheffield City Trust has run 13 venues including Sheffield Arena, the City Hall, Ponds Forge and the English Institute of Sport for more than 30 years. It also provide services in the community.

Earlier this month it said business was ‘booming’.

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