Southwark Council is to bail out its leisure centre operator Everyone Active to ensure that staff can continue to be paid while facilities such as the Castle Centre remain firmly closed.
The council is planning to formalise its decision to grant emergency financial support to its leisure management contractor SLM – known to the public as Everyone Active.
Swimming pools and gyms like The Castle Centre closed with 12 hours' notice back in March.
The council says that "the majority of staff" were put on the Government's furlough scheme by SLM.
In a report explaining why the decision must be taken without the usual prior notice period, the council says that "deferring the decision could jeopardise the ability for the staff to be paid their salaries and the interim arrangements for the management of the council's assets to continue to be in place".
The council says that: "The financial package consists of funding to cover staff costs, maintenance costs and utilities costs.
"It also agrees to relief from the management fee payment to the council for the period 21 March to 30 June 2020.
"It enables the staff to be paid and the centres to be effectively maintained and used as relief centres for the community at short notice if required."
The financial impact on the council is put at more than £500,000.
The Government has yet to give any indication of when indoor leisure facilities might be able to reopen.
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