New jobs at Halesowen Leisure Centre after cafe appeal fails

Sunday, 7 April 2024 17:00

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter @

Dudley Council will recruit three new workers at Halesowen Leisure Centre after failing to attract a private company to run the cafe.

The authority will appoint the staff, equivalent to one-and-a-half full time employees, to serve drinks and pre-wrapped food.

The cafe at the centre is expected to have lost £102,000 in the last financial year and the council confirmed its closure as part of the budget approved in March. The council has distributed public information notices asking for other operators to take over the cafe but received no interest.

From May 1 the cafe will become a coffee shop staffed by a trio of adventure play assistants who will also supervise children in the adventure play area and carry out other duties including cleaning.

The new coffee shop is expected to cost a total of £75,500 to operate but generate an income of £81,000, returning a profit of £5,500.

The cafe at Halesowen Leisure Centre, on Great Cornbow, had been subsidised by the council but, like the Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre cafe, had suffered significant losses since opening two years ago.

The closure will be a blow after optimism that the Halesowen centre cafe could survive following the closure of the cafe at the Crystal Centre in Stourbridge last year. In February 2023 the Local Democracy Reporting Service published the contents of an email from a council spokesperson which said:

“The cafés at Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre and Halesowen Leisure Centre also ‘lose’ money however, they are considered to be in the right location (ground floor) and have only been open approximately 12 months.

“In short, they haven’t had the opportunity to try new methods to make the cafés profitable.”


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