Council pumps more than £1 million into leisure services to cover cost of Covid-19 impact
The figures were made public in a six-month budget monitoring report to West Lothian Council’s Culture and Leisure Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP).
The projected overspend in the Culture & Sports budget is £1.484 million and relates to additional projected spending in culture of £183,000 and £1.301 million in sports.
A report to the PDSP said : “The overspend in sport of £1.301 million relates mainly to the support provided to West Lothian Leisure to help manage the additional cash flow costs resulting from the impact of continuing Covid-19 restrictions.”
The £183,000 loss on the cultural side relates to lost income from Linlitghow’s Burgh Halls which are currently closed. The report added: “Once the facility reopens, the business plan will be fully implemented, which includes a range of initiatives such as reducing evening opening hours to focus on peak revenue generating times, development of a seasonal events programme, promoting the wedding business through a major national wedding planning website, improvements to the LBH website and joining West Lothian Chamber of Commerce to increase conference trade.”
West Lothian can claim a share of £90m set aside by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities )towards these losses.
Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan said: “It’s fair to say that we are not going to get the full amount back.”
The report conceded: “There remains significant risks and uncertainties associated with the financial assumptions in the council’s budget.”