The fifth annual report from Leisure & Culture Dundee, who operate Leisure, Sports, Cultural and Library Services, on behalf of Dundee City Council shows another positive year of growth and development with over 3 million visits to facilities across the City and increased turnover in the financial year 2015-16. The release of the report has also brought praise for the contribution made in securing UNESCO City of Design status for Dundee.
There were 3,023,411 visits across the organisation with highlights including Caird Hall where total attendances were almost 150,000, a rise of 11% on the previous year and 1.41 million paying customers through the doors at Leisure & Sports venues. Creative Learning figures also saw a 23% increase with 19,793 participating in inspiring activities delivered at The McManus, Mills Observatory, Broughty Castle Museum and The Old Steeple. Financial turnover at the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) also increased slightly in results to end of March 2016 to £14.2m.
In each of the last 5 years, the trustees have made investments from Leisure & Culture Dundee’s trading surplus including upgrades at Lochee Swim & Sport Centre. This year they have set aside £100k for apprenticeships and graduate internships, £92K for ICT enhancements. Funds for infrastructure upgrades at Lochee Library, Caird Hall and for a project to improve community facilities at Broughty Ferry Library have also been made.
Service innovation and development includes a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to deliver Move More Dundee, an exercise referral programme for people living with and beyond cancer. This partnership will continue to develop and there are plans for further enhancement of support for those affected by cancer through the City's public library network. The Library service already has a track record of successfully supporting those with specific needs, particularly those experiencing the impact of welfare reform. Additionally, the organisation is also working closely with Coca Cola and Dundee City Council to deliver ‘ParkLives', a free health and fitness programme in public parks that will continue until 2019.
Stewart Murdoch, Managing Director at Leisure & Culture Dundee said
“A huge amount has been accomplished over the last 5 years. Performance of all services has improved and costs to the local tax payer have been cut by 30% over this period. So, of course, we are very proud of what has been achieved.”
David Martin, Chief Executive at Dundee City Council said
“Leisure & Culture Dundee was the first SCIO in Scotland and reflected the City’s ambition to be innovative in the way its services are modernised. We have not been disappointed. In particular we want to pay tribute to the volunteers who serve as Trustees on its board. The SCIO also deserves recognition for the key role played in securing UNESCO City of Design designation for Dundee working closely with V&A Dundee and other cultural partners in the City.”
Copies of the full report are available at http://www.leisureandculturedundee.com/annual-report-2016 and can also be accessed at the 14 public libraries across Dundee.