A new leisure trust is set to protect West Norfolk leisure facilities by reducing the cost to the borough council and giving control to a new team.
Money will be saved because a charitable trust does not have to pay VAT and pays lower business rates.
West Norfolk Council is looking for someone to take the role of chairman on the new committee.
Facilities including Lynn Corn Exchange, Lynnsport, Downham Leisure Centre, St James’ Swimming and Fitness Centre and Oasis Leisure Centre will all be taken under the wing of the new Local Authority Company from next July.
Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We have an excellent range of borough-run leisure facilities in West Norfolk but, in the face of ongoing cuts in our budget, we need to look at ways that we can preserve these facilities for people while reducing the overall cost to taxpayers.
“Establishing a leisure trust will enable us to do just that.”
Mrs Nockolds added: “It represents a change for us in terms of the way things will be managed internally, but externally people should notice very little difference as the buildings, services and the staff will remain broadly the same.”
David Pope, cabinet member for assets, said: “By 2015/16, our grant for leisure will be nearly half what it was five years ago. We didn’t expect this and we have to look at what we can do to make services sustainable. This should enable us to save around £400,000 per annum from paying no VAT and lower business rates.”
Work has been going on behind the scenes for some months and now a chairman must be appointed for the board of trustees.
They will then appoint a further five trustees to join the council’s nominated trustee, Mrs Nockolds.
Mr Pope said: “We are looking for someone who will set the direction for the organisation and who will represent the trust at events and in the media. This will be a really exciting role and will be vital to the future success of the trust. “
Mrs Nockolds said: “We want someone who has commercial experience and is used to running a large leisure facility for this unpaid role.”
Applicants should be local and have a track record of working with the local community.
Chris Bamfield, head of leisure and public space, said: “If you have local people on the committee, they will make decisions to benefit local people.”
To apply to be chairman, visit www.west-norfolk.gov.uk, or email firstname.lastname@example.org by November 1.