Sheffield Council to provide £12 million additional leisure and entertainment funding

Sheffield Council has budgeted an additional £12 million for leisure and entertainment in the coming financial year.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 4:45 pm

It follows a council overspend of up to £12.8 million last year on leisure that was spent on helping Sheffield City Trust and Places for People reopen their facilities when Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

The budget was formally approved by the council’s cabinet in a meeting this week.

Ryan Keyworth, director of finance, said: “We have provided £12 million of additional funding for leisure and entertainment essentially to ensure the city’s entertainment, sports and leisure facilities are able to reopen as they were before the pandemic struck.

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“We are hoping that ongoing subsidy won’t be needed beyond the next financial year but we will obviously come back to members if that is the case.”

Sheffield Council misses out on government leisure funding support due to its at-arms-length relationship with providers.

In total, the council gave Sheffield City Trust £16.6 million to help it reopen leisure facilities last year and £1.6 million to support Places for People.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said: “I know it’s been a really difficult year and we have made many demands on the finance team, not least our leisure centres. We kept them open when we could, when restrictions were lifted and we will do again when restrictions are lifted.

“I know it’s been a headache for the finance team but then that’s what you are there for, to have a headache and deliver the finances for everybody across the council.”

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