Joint review of culture, sport and leisure services kicks off

Published: 4th May 2023

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A joint review of the region’s culture, sport and leisure services delivered by the charity Live Borders has started, with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of services and facilities provided.

The joint review, by Live Borders and ourselves, has kicked off with internal engagement with employees from both organisations. This will then shape public engagement later in the summer around the quality, accessibility and affordability of services.

Supporting the review, Live Borders’ services will also be a focus of the Community Conversations events being finalised for this summer across the region.

Wide-ranging joint review

Live Borders and ourselves, in partnership, are responsible for delivering a broad range of valued culture, sport and leisure and community services across the Scottish Borders. The joint review will look at the current vision, partnership, funding and service delivery arrangements between the two organisations for the future.

The review comes at a time of unprecedented financial pressures on Live Borders as well as across the entire leisure sector, due to high inflation, fast rising energy costs, a changing picture of service usage post pandemic, an ageing property portfolio and the need to work towards Net Zero targets.

Outcomes to inform service and budget planning

The aim is to complete the review by end of October this year, with support from external consultants. The outcome will inform the 2024/25 service and budget planning process and also result in a new joint agreement, replacing that put in place when Live Borders was established in 2016.

Alison Moore, Chair of Live Borders

“This review represents an important opportunity to reflect on the new landscape in which Live Borders operates and to ensure that the organisation is able to fully meet the needs of all of our users going forwards.

“The financial pressures on Live Borders are unprecedented and we look forward to working with the Council to ensure that our services are put on a sustainable financial footing for the future.

“As a charity we are particularly keen to ensure that all voices are heard across the region as part of this review and that it covers the breadth of the services we operate, which includes sport, culture, museums and libraries. Together with the Council and the review consultants we will be making every effort to reach all Borders communities and hear from local people on how we can best meet their needs and hopes for the leisure sector in the Borders in the months and years ahead.”

Council Leader, Councillor Euan Jardine

“This review is a really exciting opportunity to provide a strong footing for Live Borders to go forward and build upon in the years ahead, delivering the best possible leisure, sport and cultural services to our residents and visitors, supported by the Council.

“The world has changed significantly since 2016, new challenges and opportunities have emerged, and this is a chance to take all this into account, along with the feedback of Borderers, and shape the future of the hugely valued services delivered by Live Borders.

“To show the importance of collaboration, I am delighted that Live Borders has agreed to join me and SBC colleagues on the Community Conversations tour of the Scottish Borders. The Community Conversations will allow us to hear first-hand from communities about what we are doing well and areas where we may need development.”

More information

The Live Borders trust arrangements were originally established in 2003 with the formation of Borders Sports and Leisure Trust. The services delivered have been expanded over the years, including the addition of cultural and various community services in 2016 when Live Borders was set up.

Community sports provision at a number of new high school campuses and the addition of the Great Tapestry of Scotland in 2020 have also been added to the scope of Live Borders services in recent years.

About Live Borders

Live Borders is the leisure, sport, and cultural trust for the Scottish Borders. Live Borders is a charity. At the heart of Live Borders is a commitment to making its communities healthier, happier and stronger. Every penny spent in its venues is reinvested into supporting active, creative, and healthy communities in the Scottish Borders.