Management of Southsea’s Pyramids Centre out for tender

NEW MANAGEMENT? The Pyramids in Southsea
NEW MANAGEMENT? The Pyramids in Southsea
Defence secretary John Nott with the captain of HMS Hermes, Capt Lyn Middleton pictured at the top of the Harrier jet ski-ramp at the bow of the aircraft carrier during the minister's visit to Portsmouth Naval Base

THIS WEEK IN 1982: Foreign secretary quits amid Falklands

Have your say

THE management of Southsea’s troubled Pyramids Centre is up for grabs.

Companies have until May 3 to come up with a plan which outlines how they intend to improve what’s on offer.

Southsea Community Leisure Limited (SCLL), which runs the leisure complex, in Clarence Esplanade, hopes the council will renew its contract, which expires in June, and promises to make changes.

One of the things it wants to do is install a dance studio in an existing space which members and local schools can use.

The work could cost up to £50,000.

The message comes after inspectors carried out an audit at The Pyramids in February to see whether SCLL, a not-for-profit organisation, had made drastic improvements.

As previously reported in The News, a damning report last year revealed a catalogue of errors with the way The Pyramids was being run.

Details of the latest report won’t be discussed until a future governance, audit and standards committee meeting.

But SCLL chief executive Tim Herman said the feedback he received was positive.

‘The audit went pretty well,’ he said.

‘We were told we had made significant improvements and the auditors went away happy.

‘We feel that as a social enterprise there are advantages to us running The Pyramids Centre.

‘Any profit we make goes back into refurbishing the building.’

If new management is chosen then there will be a handover period until October during which SCLL will show it the ropes.

A council spokeswoman said details of the tendering process wouldn’t be revealed before the deadline. Deputy conservative group leader Cllr Donna Jones hopes a firm with a proven track record will step in.

‘I am really excited and optimistic about tenders coming in,’ she said.

‘Hopefully a company will come in and make successes without any fundamental support from the public purse.’