Sheffield City Trust told to end all loss making contracts with other councils as soon as possible

Sheffield Council said it will ‘make it clear’ it expects its main leisure provider to end all loss making contracts with other local authorities ‘as soon as possible’.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 7:00 am

In a cabinet report on leisure, council officers said: “As part of finalising the overall subsidy for SCT for the current financial year, the City Council will make it clear that it expects SCT to end all its loss making contracts with other local authorities as soon as possible and at minimum cost. The council will not make a provision to cover any costs relating to such contacts in next year’s budget.”

It follows decisions to give up to £16.6 million to SCT this financial year, which is £11.6 million more than budgeted for.

It was revealed during a scrutiny meeting it has loss making contracts in Scarborough, despite being a Sheffield based organisation.

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Sheffield City Trust operates venues outside of the city, including Scarborough Spa which is still closed. Picture: Richard Ponter

The Trust was asked questions about its loss making contracts including why it runs facilities outside of Sheffield, if SCT will be able to end its loss making contracts and by when, how much of a loss are the contracts, why has it kept these loss making contracts and how much of Sheffield Council’s money goes toward venues outside of Sheffield.

In response, Andrew Snelling, chief executive of SCT, said: “We are continually reviewing the activities we are able to offer based on the latest Government guidance and are working closely with Scarborough Borough Council to review all potential solutions that ensures the sustainable future of Whitby Pavilion and Scarborough Spa.

“As is currently the case with a large number of events and hospitality venues across the country, the inability to hold large-scale events due to Covid-19 means that along with Sheffield City Hall and FlyDSA Arena, Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion are not currently financially viable.

“Due to the unexpected and significant impact on the usual business operating model of Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion, we are in discussions with Scarborough Borough Council to review all options that secures the future of these two much-loved venues.

“Our relationship with Scarborough Borough Council stretches back to 2012 and we continue to work closely with all partners during this period of uncertainty to ensure the sustainability of Sheffield City Trust and our venues, for our staff and customers.

“Of paramount importance to us, alongside maintaining the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers, is the need to reduce the financial demand on Sheffield Council at such a challenging time. We will continue to support Sheffield Council in securing the best possible future for all of the venues we currently operate."

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