Borough leaders and political parties will be shown the scale of the positive impact LiveWire and Culture Warrington are having on the town’s health and wellbeing and economy through a series of planned briefings over the next few weeks.
The briefings will show how the two companies – both not for profit organisations – have delivered more than £17million in savings for the borough combined, and helped secure more than £7 milion of inward investment, funding and grants over the last six years, whilst also maintaining service levels and increasing participation in health and wellbeing activites.
“We want people to know the scale of the benefits we bring, but also to let them know that we are socially conscious, we are responding to the needs of our communities, and we are an important part of the fabric of Warrington – here to help local people. We are Trusts for the local community.” said Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director
In addition to the savings generated in the last six years, LiveWire and Culture Warrington have also supported 80,000 hours of volunteering, provided training and qualifications that have led to the employment of local people, delivered two Warrington Festivals for the town, provided teachers with 5,000 hours of training, received a range of national and regional awards and achieved a number of national accreditations such as the Inclusive Fitness Initiative.
Community Interest Company LiveWire, which employs around 400 people, is the largest provider of wellbeing, sport, leisure and library facilities and activities in Warrington operates three neighbourhood hubs, three leisure sites and nine libraries.
Combined, LiveWire’s facilties drive more than 3.5 million visits per year, despite increasing competition from budget gyms and significant long-term closures at two key sites, Woolston Pool and Great Sankey Leisure Centre.
“We have managed to achieve these savings and sustain services by growing the income we generate from the leisure side of the organisation, in order to ensure services can be sustained in the face of future austerity cuts. We need people to join us and if they do, every penny that comes from membership fees is spent on delivering local services for local people and we can continue to invest in improvements to services and facilities,” Emma added.
Over the last six years alone, LiveWire has reduced costs and generated savings for Warrington Borough Council of £14million, as well as securing £5.43million of external capital investment and £1.12million of revenue funding into Council facilties.
“In the past, we have had some challenges – particularly around libraries – and I think that has potentially clouded people’s views about who were are and what we do for thousands of people in our town every single week”, said Emma. “I hope people can see that we listened when they responded to proposals about libraries and we continue to welcome feedback from local people regarding how services and facilities can be improved.”
Alan Yates, LiveWire Chair, said: “LiveWire was set up to protect services during the worst period of austerity in living memory. But we have done more than that.
“We have significantly improved our well being services and facilities. We have worked with partners to ensure that Warrington is now the most active community in the North West. Our services are affordable, accessible to all, with sites across the borough and represent good value for money. We are community owned, have no shareholders, so that all income generated is ploughed back into the services and facilities to benefit the town.”