A chairman has been appointed to a new charitable trust set to run the borough’s leisure facilities  from next summer.

West Norfolk Council hopes to save £400,000 a year by transferring Lynnsport, St James’ pool, Downham Leisure Centre and Hunstanton’s Oasis Centre to the trust but will continue to own the buildings.

The trust will commission services through a newly-established Local Authority Company, which will be responsible for the management of leisure services on a day-to-day basis.

Leisure and art facilities in the borough are currently subsidised by the council to the tune of £2m a year and the new trust will cut the bill to £1.6m a year.

This week it was announced Peter Lemon, managing director of Middleton Aggregates, had been appointed chairman.

The voluntary role, which will see him will shape the delivery and promotion of facilities, oversee a sports development programme and manage major leisure events in the area.

Mr Lemon is a keen sportsman and  brings a great deal of experience to the role.

He has previously served as Festival Too chairman, a member of the King’s Lynn Festival and as a director of KL Engine Centre.

A National League Men’s hockey umpire, he also has experience of officiating and competing and has lived in the area most of his life.

“I am looking forward to working with the newly-formed leisure trust board and the trust’s management team, to continue the borough’s legacy of offering first-class leisure services,” Mr Lemon said.

“We know that budgets will continue to come under pressure for the foreseeable future and innovative solutions, such as forming this trust, can help provide the very best value for money for the council tax payer, while providing high quality amenities for residents.”

Once in post, Mr Lemon will appoint five further trustees to the board. They will be joined by the council’s nominated trustee, councillor Elizabeth Nockolds. The board will then confirm the appointment of a chief executive.

It is hoped the trust will be operational by July 2014.