Revenue From New Sports Facilities Falling Short

Councillors have been told that the new sports hall and multi-use games (MUGA) area are bringing in less income than expected.

The figures, discussed at Thursday’s Community Services meeting, show that the MUGA made only £1,150 to the end of August, against a predicted £4,369. Only £150 was collected in pitch fees, representing just six bookings.

The sports hall is also showing a shortfall of £7,153, although the swimming pool is performing as expected.

Council spokesman, George Pearson, told us the income for the MUGA has increased by a further £333 in September following a five-week block booking.

Community Services chair, Richard McCarthy, said the numbers using the facilities were well above those predicted by Sport England, who funded much of the work.

He said their target for the sports hall in the first year was 3,000 individual visits, whereas there had actually been 5,400 since its January opening.

But Richard admitted they’d overestimated the revenue expected from summer holidaymakers.

Cllr Christine Savill said she was surprised by the low usage of the MUGA, especially during the summer months and she said it was unlikely the budget will recover over the winter.

She had also heard concerns expressed over the quality of some of the equipment supplied.

Director of Adult and Children’s Services, Penny Penn-Howard said much of that is still under warranty and is being replaced, but it’s taking some time.

Ms Penn-Howard also highlighted the grant conditions attached to use of the MUGA, which meant children have priority. She says this could have affected the numbers.

The Sports Management Group, which includes reps from both the school and community, as well as the Council, will be meeting on Monday and Cllr McCarthy says one of the items on the agenda will be ways of improving the marketing of the sports hall and other facilities to visitors.


7 Responses to Revenue From New Sports Facilities Falling Short

  1. Bill Hiner November 5, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Judging by the last two comments, perhaps we don’t need a pool or sports hall, but to insist on extra english language lessons instead!

  2. Nanny Ogg November 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm


    Have you ever been to the Co-op on a Thursday? Me’s always chasing the food there!

    • Jonathan Teatime November 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      The co-op, on a Thursday, are you mad Nanny!!!!!
      You have to get in there before the hoards of marauding off islanders land their boats u’pon the shores of sweet Mary and strip the shelf’s bare while doing their weekly shop.

      A’ve a banana

  3. Two Flower November 4, 2012 at 10:05 am


    I appreciate where you’re coming from.

    The thought of having a sports/swimming complex in 1 place does sound good but I doubt whether a swimming pool would generate enough income to support the costs of running it and the rest of the complex. Most public swimming pools either in a sports complex or not run at a loss.

    If you look at what the staff costs are involved in running the sports hall as it is, it will never make money. The sports hall is incredibly good value for money users compared to what other mainland sports hall charge, but it is not sustainable.

    The best thing to do would let the school have it and run it under the education budget and then hire it out in the evening.

    “Ms Penn-Howard also highlighted the grant conditions attached to use of the MUGA, which meant children have priority. She says this could have affected the numbers.”

    The cost for most childrens clubs is too expensive to hire the hall, even though they get a concessionary rate. It would also depend on whether the club is a club attached to the school or a club which the members are school children. Sounds a bit odd but I believe that if an afterschool club hires it up to 5.30pm then it is free, but if a club, where the members are children, but is not connected to the school the they would have to pay. Which brings me on to another point. To enable the latter to afford to hire the sports hall / MUGA they could / would have to apply to Earlyyears / Childrens Department to get a grant to fund the hire of the hall / MUGA. So the money goes from the council and then back to the council so clubs could use it. So why do do we pay someone to do this?

    Perhaps I missing something here or are we creating jobs out of nothing?

    • Nobby Nobbs November 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Still think a swimming pool next to the school would have been a better option, as the kids would have been able to go straight from school to the pool without the need for a two way taxi ride. saving 20minutes per class and a £20 taxi fare.

      Plus the pool could have been much bigger than the Normandy one and could have been open to all members of the public and would have provided tourists something to do in bad weather.

      I agree swimming pools with a demographic of 20,000 struggle to break even, so one has to ask “does the the Normandy pool run at a profit, or is it funded by the beloved grant system?”.
      One assumes the latter, in which case a pool by the school could also have been grant funded.

      As to the rest of it, who cares, sports boring.
      The skills use in sports are irrelevant now we no longer have to chase our food.

  4. Bill Hiner November 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I’ve never known a sports hall to make money! I wholeheartedly agree with Nobby that a swimming pool would have been so much more sensible. Bearing in mind that ALL ages and physical abilities can get the benefit from a swim, it did not make sense to exclude the largest demographic group. A large part of the islands are over 50, and THEY would have no doubt supported a swimming pool. Surely the facilities weren’t just targeted at children? It seems to me that wrinklies get a bit of a raw deal on the islands.
    A big chance gone, I’m afraid.

  5. Nobby Nobbs November 3, 2012 at 11:03 am

    When the new school was being built, the council held a survey asking residents what is the one thing you all want and the overwhelming response was A SWIMMING POOL!!!!!!!
    So the council did what they always do and ignored the peoples request and built a large empty space instead, Derr.

    The council will argue that they provide a swimming pool, yes they do, it’s in the middle of nowhere, there’s no parking and it can only be used by about 2 people at anyone time.

    The council had the perfect opportunity to provide this community with an large indoor swimming pool right next to the school which could also be used by residents and holiday makers when the weathers not so good.
    But as usual the council had made their minds up and refused to change it because that would indicate either a weakness on their part or that they were wrong in the first place. Again poor decisions made by senior officers that will have far reaching repercussions for the next 20yrs.

    But we got a grant the officers will cry, big deal, just because you can get a grant doesn’t always mean you should take it and spend it on a white Elephant. again, Derr