Council form culture and leisure trust

Angus Council’s culture and leisure services are to move to a new charitable trust, with a target date of December 1 for the transfer.

The organisation will operate under the name ‘Angus Alive’, and will provide culture and leisure services for the county.

A Shadow Board for Angus Alive has been established to allow work to proceed on the transfer of services and staff to the new organisation on December 1.

The elected members appointed to the Angus Alive shadow board are councillors Jeanette Gaul (chair), Bill Duff, Colin Brown and David Fairweather. The shadow board, along with advisors from the council, will receive formal training, both internally from the council as well as externally.

Shadow board chair councillor Jeanette Gaul announced the launch date of the new trust saying: “This is a hugely exciting development in the way that culture and leisure services can be provided in Angus in the future.

“By transferring the services to a trust there will be greater flexibility and opportunity for the services to develop, to better meet customer needs. The trust will be able to access funding sources which the council can’t and this will help to both sustain jobs and where possible achieve savings.”

Following similar trust arrangements put in place by other councils Angus Alive will operate as an autonomous body, managed by an independent board. It will be commissioned to provide a specified range and quality of services on behalf of Angus Council.

The services provided by the new trust will include museums, galleries, archives, town halls, leisure and sports facilities, country parks, outdoor recreation facilities and the Webster Memorial Theatre. A new service integrating libraries and ACCESS Office functions will also be part of the new trust.

The buildings used by culture and leisure services will continue to be used by the new trust but will remain entirely in council ownership.

In the coming months, independent members for the new Angus Alive Board will be recruited, as will the new chief officer responsible for the overall management and development of the new body. The new name for the service was decided by the Shadow Board in April.

Almost 600 culture and leisure services staff will transfer to the new trust on December 1.