LEISURE and library operator LiveWire has started redundancy consultations wth some staff due to a “crippling” drop of more than £3m income since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The not-for-profit community interest company, which operates leisure centres and libraries on behalf of Warrington Borough Council is now looking at redundancies alongside other cost-cutting measures
A LiveWire spokesperson said: “Like many organisations we have faced a crippling drop in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In order to protect both our services and jobs, we have no choice but to make difficult decisions about how best we can economise.
“We have done all we can to avoid job losses and have tried to shield our staff as much as possible during this crisis, however among other cost-saving proposals previously announced, LiveWire has entered into a period of consultation with some staff who are at risk of redundancy. We are working with trade union representatives and will do all we can to minimise the impact on job losses.”
Last November LiveWire and Warrington Borough Council announced proposed cost-saving measures aimed at protecting leisure and library services, including the possible closure of Culcheth Community Campus, following a £3.2m loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cost-saving measures are aimed at safeguarding the long-term future of leisure and library services.
There has been a joint consultation exercise forming part of a process to consider the permanent closure of Culcheth Community Campus leisure site while consideration is being given to moving Birchwood Library into Birchwood Leisure Centre.
LiveWire operates three multi-service neighbourhood hubs, three community leisure centres and nine community libraries across Warrington as well as delivering a health and wellbeing service known as Lifestyles and a number of free community outreach programmes.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen LiveWire’s leisure and library sites closed for a large proportion of last year, severely impacting on the vital commercial income generated through avenues such as Leisure memberships.
Last August the luxury Garden Spa, based at Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub, also became a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic after being unable to return an operating profit despite rave reviews from customers pre-pandemic.
LiveWire has launched a new ‘At Home’ membership platform to help members stay active and address the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, as well as accessing the Government’s Job Retention Scheme.