A new 10-year lease has been awarded to Moray Leisure Centre amid hopes the long-term security will reduce its reliance on the public purse.
The Elgin complex, which is owned by the council but run by Moray Leisure, currently relies on an annual £698,000 subsidy to run the sport facilities and neighbouring Rainbow Castle Nursery.
Yesterday councillors agreed to give the centre a new lease amid hopes its turnaround can continue amid a projected 100% increase in visitor numbers.
However, senior management stressed talks would be had with Moray Leisure’s board in the coming months about reducing the subsidy as the council fights to balance its own books.
Council leader Graham Leadbitter said: “If the leisure centre has the security of a long-term lease then that makes it easier for them to get contracts and procure services at significantly better prices.
“That will make it easier to have conversations with them about the level of grant. If they don’t know what they’re doing month-to-month then that conversation would be difficult.”
Meanwhile, Conservative group leader Tim Eagle asked for an assurance that the agreement would not impact on a review of leisure services currently being done by the council.
Depute chief executive Denise Whitworth said: “Break points have been included in the lease.”