Lynnsport, one of the facilities to be affected by proposed management changes.

West Norfolk Council’s decision to take back control of its leisure facilities could cost £2m, it has been claimed.

Last week cabinet members voted to put in place a council-owned company to manage leisure facilities, including King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, Lynnsport, St James’ pool, Downham Leisure and Hunstanton Oasis.

But the trustees of charitable trust Alive Leisure which currently runs the facilities have hit out at the changes which they claim could cost the borough £2m.

 Peter Lemon, chairman of Alive Leisure Trust, said: “The process that the borough council has followed so far lacks rigour and clarity, and much of the information contained in the review document we have seen is inaccurate and misleading.

“As a not-for-profit charitable trust, Alive Leisure’s only aim is to deliver outstanding leisure and cultural facilities to the people of West Norfolk. We’re very proud of the fact that we have helped thousands of people to get more out of their leisure time, while also raising thousands of pounds for local charities. Currently, we do not fully understand the case for placing theses facilities back under council control.

He added: “Our trustees are all local professional and business people, and have given up four years of their time, free of charge. This recent treatment has been appalling. The trustees have helped save the council millions of pounds and we believe the figures presented to council members earlier this month do not present a full picture of the costs of changing the way leisure and cultural services are delivered.”

The trustees will be putting together a plan which they are urging the cabinet to consider at its next meting in October.

Mr Lemon added: “We are not ready to give up.”

A council spokesman said: “With ongoing austerity for local government, the council is continuing to look for ways to reduce its budget, including the annual £1.2m cost of leisure.”

Council leader Brian Long said: “The financial climate continues to be difficult, on balance members have decided that developing a new leisure company, that is wholly owned by the borough council, will improve the possibilities for future investment in the centres, growing participation and mean that the council has greater control over financial decisions. 

“We will continue to work positively with Alive Leisure while the new company is established and operation of the centres transferred.

“There should be little disruption to the services for users during this period, in the same way that there was no disruption when the current arrangements were established in 2014. 

“I would like to thank the board members and the staff of both organisations for their hard work and dedication, and for what they have achieved over the last few years.”