Guernsey Press

ESC to look at outsourcing loss-making Beau Sejour as it begins review

Outsourcing Beau Sejour is set to be investigated, as Education, Sport & Culture formally launches its review of the centre’s operating model in a bid to stem losses.

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ESC president Andrea Dudley-Owen said the island needed to collectively decide what role Beau Sejour should play for the community. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32757273)

The Guernsey Press first reported in September that a review was expected, after it was claimed in the States that the leisure centre was losing £1m. a year.

ESC has now confirmed the review would look at whether an acceptable community contribution can be maintained with a reduced – or no – subsidy.

The review will investigate alternative funding routes, including changing what Beau Sejour provides, and understanding the impact of alternative operating models, such as outsourcing.

It will also look at ways to increase income and the number of users.

ESC president Andrea Dudley-Owen said it was expected the review would conclude in mid-2024.

‘The centre has been subject to periodic review as the purpose has changed over the decades and it is important that we continue this practice,’ she said.

‘Our committee’s review will look at all elements of Beau Sejour’s operations, consider a range of operating models and examine funding options so we can be confident that what we are providing is both delivering what the community needs, at a cost we can afford.’

Beau Sejour has struggled with its costs for some time, with the centre losing more than £800,000 in 2012. It currently receives a grant via lottery funds, which largely makes up any annual shortfall in funding.

In last year’s accounts, ESC also paid nearly £150,000 to cover the cost of replacing function chairs and the swimming pool flooring.

Deputy Dudley-Owen said since opening in 1976 the centre has added huge value in many areas of island life.

‘Its social and health value, alongside its economic value, should not be understated nor reduced to a conversation purely about money,’ she said.

‘We need to collectively decide what role we want Beau Sejour to play for our community, and then decide how to financially ensure it can deliver.’

The centre has a variety of membership fees, with unlimited access to all the centre’s facilities costing £500 a year for an adult. There are also other yearly memberships to reduce costs on certain activities.

For non-members it costs £5.90 for an adult to go swimming, £14.40 to play badminton and £9.30 for a gym session.