Since 2001 Community Leisure Association Whitworth (CLAW) has successfully provided Leisure services and facilities to local people, including the management of Whitworth Leisure Centre and the Riverside. In recent years financial pressure brought about by increasing costs and austerity, and increasing governance pressures, have caused the Trustees to reflect on the best way to ensure these facilities remain sustainably available to the public for decades to come. With this objective at the fore, The Trustees of CLAW approached Rossendale Leisure Trust (RLT) and subsequently agreed on a formal partnership, bringing together the skills and expertise of each organisation. Both organisations share a deep commitment to leisure facilities and services in Rossendale, and to the important role, leisure can play in supporting active, healthy and happy communities.
Customers could experience an enriched service with members of CLAW and RLT having reciprocal access to facilities right across Rossendale and East Lancashire as part of the Active Network.
The organisations will remain separate legal identities with independent boards of Trustees. The two organisations will share a Chief Executive Officer who will oversee the work across all facilities and utilise the various skills and expertise within the CLAW and RLT management teams to benefit both businesses and local people. Rossendale Borough Council will support the partnership through the provision of accounting and transaction services.
Ken Masser, CEO of Rossendale Leisure Trust, feels the partnership will be critical to the provision of charitable community leisure right across the Valley;
“Both charitable organisations are perfectly aligned in the ambition to provide a great quality community service focussing on healthy and happy communities. It was very apparent that we all share a deep-rooted passion for making Rossendale a great place to live. Both organisations have incredible people and I’m looking forward to working with colleagues right across the Valley. It’s an exciting time for Rossendale and the breadth of the offer for local people is improving all the time. This partnership is an important step forward for both the Leisure Trust and CLAW.”
Christine Ashcroft, long-standing Trustee and Company Secretary of CLAW commented;
“We’ve worked incredibly hard to re-open and continue to provide the facilities in Whitworth for nearly 20 years. That work will continue. I know the commitment and desire of local people is still there to keep the Leisure Centre and Riverside available and thriving. The partnership with the Leisure Trust will give us some additional support and expertise which will build on the wonderful work we've already done, and help secure the long-term sustainability of the venues for Whitworth. We’re very confident in Ken's ability to help us progress, and look forward to working with him and his team”
The partnership will officially go live in April 2019.