PLANS to make nearly £200,000 of savings by creating a trust to run a council’s leisure facilities have been put on hold.

Hambleton District Council proposed creating the Hambleton Leisure Trust around five years ago and has been working towards it.

The scheme looked to bring the running of the council’s Bedale, Stokesley and Hambleton leisure centres plus Thirsk Swimming Pool and Thirsk floodlit pitch under the Trust’s management.

The trust would sign a fixed term lease with the council to manage the areas and it was anticipated the venture would generate savings of £173,222 for the council on running costs.

The authority’s cabinet committee this week heard that the scheme should be put on hold for the present.

This was due to the council re-evaluating the plan with a second study by The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

The outcome was that the district authority felt it could make savings of at least £125,000 without a trust by running the facilities better.

Phil Morton, executive director and deputy chief executive at the council, outlined the main reasons behind the move.

He said: "A trust seemed a good idea but we reached a point where we felt we had to review where we were going with the idea.

"We did a financial risk assessment and it concerned me after this that it was not in the council’s best interests to move on with the trust.

"I don’t think it would have made sufficient savings and we could save most of it ourselves anyway."

The cabinet committee agreed to not pursue a leisure trust for now but not to cut it off all together in case it was gone back to in the future.

It also agreed to look into creating a business plan for a venture of this kind that is set to be ready within the next financial year.

Councillor Brian Phillips, deputy leader of the council, said: "The important thing is that we don’t do it this time.

"The work has been done and maybe in three or four years time we can look again at this but at the present time we should keep the centres in-house."