Chair of new trust which will take over council venues in King’s Lynn, Downham Market and Hunstanton is named

Peter Lemon, chair of the trust which will take over council sports and leisure centres from next su

Peter Lemon, chair of the trust which will take over council sports and leisure centres from next summer. Photo: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Peter Lemon has been appointed chairman of the new charitable trust which will run entertainment, sports and leisure centres in West Norfolk from next summer.

It will be taking over King's Lynn Corn Exchange, Lynnsport, Downham Market Leisure Centre, St James Swimming and Fitness Centre and Oasis Leisure Centre at Hunstanton from West Norfolk council, which hopes setting up the trust will save it £400,000 a year.

Mr Lemon is currently the managing director of gravel company Middleton Aggregates and a director of Lynn-based printers Clanpress.

He has also been the chairman of Festvial Too and a member of the King's Lynn Festival board, and is a keen sportsman.

Council leader Nick Daubney said: 'We've created and provided a wide range of leisure and cultural services and know that they are valued by residents.

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'Increasing costs and falling budgets mean that we simply cannot continue to provide the services in the same way. The trust offers a way to protect services for the future without increasing the burden on council tax payers.

'We were really impressed by Peter's enthusiasm and the wide range of skills and experience he can bring to this role. A West Norfolk resident, keen sportsman and regular visitors to the borough council's sports facilities, he understands the needs of service users.

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'This first-hand knowledge of the services combines with in-depth knowledge of running complex and successful businesses and a personal commitment to continuing to provide excellent facilities for West Norfolk residents, making him ideally suited to this important role. I wish him and the new trust every success for the future.'

Mr Lemon, said: 'I am looking forward to working with the newly-formed leisure trust board and the trust's management team, to continue the borough's legacy of offering first-class leisure services in West Norfolk.

'We know that budgets will continue to come under pressure for the foreseeable future and innovative solutions, such as forming this trust, can help provide the very best value for money for the council tax payer, while providing high quality amenities for residents.'

Once in the post, which is voluntary, Mr Lemon will appoint five further trustees to the board.

They will be joined by the council's nominated trustee, Elizabeth Nockolds and form a board of seven trustees in total.

The board will then confirm the appointment of the chief executive who will run the trust. The trust is expected to take over the venues by July 2014.

Three years ago, the council handed over King's Lynn Arts Centre and its galleries to a charitable trust.

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