New 1Life for PRSA
A new chapter in the life of Boston's Princess Royal Sports Arena has begun as 1Life takes on full responsibility for the centre.
Following a contract signing with Boston Borough Council, 1Life now has the go-ahead to arrange repairs and improvements to bring the centre up to an improved handover condition - the final bill to be paid by the borough council. But these costs will be covered by savings made by energy efficiency improvements, some of which are already complete and providing a return.
Managing Director of 1Life Neil King signs the new contract. Also pictured, from left, PRSA Contract Manager Marc Speirs, Brian Stephens of Boston RFC, Stuart Ashton of Boston RFC, Boston Borough Council Chief Executive Phil Drury and Boston Borough Council Leader Cllr Peter Bedford
The sport, leisure and recreation experts will have a full repair and renew lease for the site, relieving borough council tax payers of any future financial responsibility.
The council is introducing energy-saving efficiencies at the PRSA and the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex, generating income and energy savings to fund the PRSA repairs and improvements.
A huge array of solar panels on the roof of the building is already meeting almost all the energy needs during summer days and biomass boilers are on the way, replacing costlier LPG - the site is not on mains gas.
The investment will also contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of the facility - annual carbon emission savings are estimated at more than 35 tonnes.
The longer-term future of the PRSA will be without ongoing revenue support from the council.
Council leader, Cllr Peter Bedford, said: "Much has been said and written down the years about the PRSA. It has taken a long time and much hard work has gone into this final agreement, which sets the PRSA up for the future on a sound commercial footing. It is an excellent and well-used facility. 1Life are experts at managing centres such as these, and the council has every confidence in its ability to take the PRSA forwards. The PRSA remains important in terms of helping tackle the borough's health and wellbeing issues."
Boston has higher than national average incidences of childhood obesity, excess weight in adults and physical inactivity.
Neil King, MD at 1Life, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Boston Borough Council to secure the future of PRSA. This new contract will enable us to build on the positive improvements that have already been made to the centre and will see the launch of many new additional services for the local community. We are excited about the challenge ahead and are committed to running a leisure centre that provides local people with the chance to be more active more often."
Stuart Ashton, of Boston Rugby Football Club, said: "This gives us a good secure platform for the long-term future of the club to enable us to grow, particularly in the year when we shall be wishing England all the best for the World Cup."
Cllr Bedford said the agreement with 1Life follows the council's proven track record, such as partnership working with Boston College, Witham Academies Federation and Boston Amateur Swimming Club leading to improvements to the Peter Paine Sports Centre and the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex, both showing increases in gym and swimming pools use.
The partner organisations had injected cash into the facilities and had access to grant funding the council could not tap into, helping to drive forward attendances in all areas of exercise and fitness. Peter Paine had a £2 million investment provided by the college.
Pictured, from left, Stuart Ashton, of Boston Rugby Football Club, Marc Speirs, Contract Manager PRSA, Neil King, 1Life Managing Director, Cllr Peter Bedford, Leader of Boston Borough Council, Phil Drury, Chief Executive, Boston Borough Council, and Brian Stephens, President of Boston Rugby Football Club