Wiltshire Council leaders have agreed to extend Places for People Leisure Management Ltd’s - previously DC Leisure Management - contract to run 11 of the 23 council leisure centres across the county until 2018.

The council says yesterday's decision will help maintain leisure facilities already provided, while achieving savings of more than £1 million.

The move will provide time for Wiltshire Council's innovative campus programme to take shape.

In its statement the council said it would be the final time the contract with Places for People Leisure would be extended.

It plans to tender for the future delivery of council leisure services after the 2018 cutoff.

The campus programme, which is expected to develop over the next three years, is part of Wiltshire Council’s strategy to maintain all of its current leisure offering for the residents of Wiltshire and integrate leisure into a public health programme.

This is intended to encourage people to be more active and improve their health.

Places for People Leisure will work with the council on developing the public health and leisure service integration, while reducing the contract management fee and investing in new equipment in its centres.

Coun Jonathon Seed, cabinet member responsible for leisure and campuses, said: “I am delighted we have agreed to this in principle.

"It will mean we can continue to work with Places for People Leisure to develop the service, while still maintaining an excellent leisure offering to people in Wiltshire.

“This final contract extension will provide stability and enable us to work together with a valued partner to maintain a leisure offering during the crucial few years when we are still shaping a management model for our new campuses.”

Tim Hewett, business director at Places for People Leisure, said: “We are delighted to be given this opportunity to continue into the future our excellent partnership with the council and are excited about working with them in this ground-breaking relationship with public health.

"I look forward to finalising the extension arrangements very soon.”