FUTURE Olympic dreams and days out for Hucknall families will continue to be realised with a funding boost and new management of the county’s National Water Sports Centre.
Holme Pierrepont can boast of a number of London 2012 medal winners training at the Nottingham-based venue, and with new investment now on the way, hopes for continued success are viable.
Following a year-long process, owners of the facility, Nottinghamshire County Council, have selected Serco to manage the site securing its future as part of a 21 year deal.
The move will not only save the council money but will enable private investment and experience to work in partnership to expand and improve the facility.
Serco Leisure is an experienced manager of similar venues and currently run 70 leisure centres across the UK.
“The council is committed to the long-term future of the National Water Sports Centre,” said Coun John Cottee, chairman of the Culture Committee. “There are a wide range of different communities, as well as top athletes, who use the facilities and enjoy the country park and surroundings who will be excited by these plans.”
It has been necessary for the council to look for alternative funding proposals for the site since Sport England ended its lease on the site in 2009 and their financial support ending in March.
“We selected Serco because their aspirations matched ours,” added Coun Cottee. “We will be working together and remain a part of the centre’s future which is important to us as well as the opportunity for the council to save an estimated £14 million in revenue costs over the 21 year contract.”
The plans will mean a £6.7 million investment with £1.6million coming from the council’s capital money pot earmarked for the future of the site.
“The National Water Sports Centre is one of Nottinghamshire’s crown jewels – this plan secures an exciting future for the centre for the next generation of users,” added Coun Cottee.
“It is fantastic news on the back of an unforgettable year of sport in 2012 and forms part of the County Council’s sporting legacy for what is the Sporting County.”
New managers, Serco are now looking to the future and have big plans for the transformation of the watersports centre.
“It is a privilege to be a part of this and we are eager to see our proposals come to fruition,” said Craig Mulhall, Serco business development manager.
“Our aim is to continue to appeal to world-class athletes whilst improving facilities for families across the community making Holme Pierrepont a day destination.”
Part of the plans, as well as expanding the sport and fitness side and conference facilities of the operation, is to attract families with cycle hire, laser quest, a high rope challenge as well as adventure golf and camping facilities.
Mr Mulhall added: “We want to change the community’s perception of Holme Pierrepont and make it a top destination for a great family day out as well as maintaining the elite sporting side of the operation.”