A major £5 million budget black hole in Birmingham’s 39 leisure centres and swimming pools has been filled after the city council scooped a windfall from its shares in Birmingham Airport.
The council, along with the six other West Midlands local authorities, owns 49 per cent of the airport and has been handed a £13 million dividend after a particularly successful year for the Airport, including the construction of the runway extension.
Now Labour bosses have decided to use £5.2m from the windfall to plug the deficit in leisure services and save the rest for any budget problems which develop during the 2014/15 financial year.
The council has agreed an overhaul of sport and leisure which will see some centres closed, six new ones built and outside operators brought in.
The funding will see the leisure service maintained until the new strategy is implemented and facilities built.