Agenda item

Your Trust

Presentation outlining performance, events and activities relating to Your Trust (formerly Link4Life), by the Trust’s Chief Executive and Director of Finance


The Chair welcomed Your Trust’s (formerly Link4Life) Chief Executive, Mr. A. King and their Director of Finance, Ms. E. Rowe, to the meeting. It had been agreed that Your Trust present quarterly performance reports to this Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to assist Members in developing an understanding of the depth and scope of services provided by the Trust and also how the Trust is performing against recognised key performance indicators.


Your Trust was described, by their Chief Executive, as a delivery partner for Rochdale Borough Council managing leisure and cultural venues in the borough on behalf of the Council. It was an independent charity but on that worked closely with the Council. It is governed by a Board of Trustees, including three Rochdale Borough Councillors, who acted in a voluntary capacity to oversee the management of Your Trust. Key aims of Your Trust were a desire to change things for the better for residents of the Borough, for example by improving the prospects of the Borough’s children and young people’s chances of a hopeful future; to improve quality of life for adults who are at risk of chronic health conditions; and to reduce isolation and frailty in older people.


The buildings in which Your Trust operate are all owned by Rochdale Borough Council but the Trust makes a contribution to their capital cost every year. The Council invests in the buildings (e.g. energy efficiency, gym refurbs) which, in turn, allowed Your Trust to return efficiency savings every year.


Your Trust’s income was generated from three main sources: the Council’s Management Fee (22%), earned income (60%) and external funding (18%). Profits (after efficiencies) are invested back into the community. Your Trust keeps a stability reserve fund (equivalent to 2.5 months budgeted expenditure) and the Trust used £360k reserves in 2020/2021 to cover the deficit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and are prepared to use more again in the current financial year.


The Chief Executive referred to the Trust’s Management Fee, over half of which was spent on the Events, Arts and Heritage Service, where it is harder to charge commercial fees. However the service also attracted external funding (often up to 50% of gross costs), which enabled Your Trust to provide even more programmes and projects both in venues and in the community. Around 10% of the Management Fee supported the gross costs of the Community Health and Participation Service. However this team generated over three times as much in external income and contracts, which support those most in need in the Borough’s communities.


In terms of the key financial issues relating to Your Trust , the Committee was informed that the forecast deficit to year-end had reduced from original estimates because of the strong ‘build-back’ in income, following the worst months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Your Trust are presently forecasting a £236,000 deficit at the end of the 2021/2022 financial year.  However it was advised that caution should be taken with regard to the forecast because of the potential for further restrictions being introduced, and the staffing situation.


The main source of income after the Management Fee was from Leisure income. This was descrbed as ‘building back’ very well after the last lockdown period from a low-point at December 2020 when numbers had dropped to just over 5,600.  However there was a 1% decline in October 2021 despite strong new membership numbers – Your Trust was seeking to understand why people were leaving.


Recruitment across leisure trusts in Greater Manchester was described as being very challenging at present. For instance, swimming, where there were savings because of staff shortages but plenty of demand in the community. Your Trust had budgeted to fill staff vacancies. Un-filled vacancies would have an impact on the Trust’s final position, creating savings, but putting immense pressure on existing teams to keep facilities open.



That the Your Trust presentation be noted and welcomed.

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