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The firm behind two Gloucester sports facilities has gone into liquidation, causing chaos for local clubs and the loss of 150 jobs

Aspire Charity, the trust tasked with managing GL1 Leisure Centre and the Oxstalls Sports Park on behalf of the Gloucester City Council, has closed the sites with immediate effect.

In a public statement, Aspire said:

“As many people will be aware, as a Charity, we have faced some challenging conditions over the last few years and have done everything we can meet to those challenges.

“Having reached the end of our 15-year contract, we hoped to continue for another year to ease the Council’s search for another operator.

“However, as a registered Charity, trustees have a legal duty to only trade if Council funding is assured and risk is controlled. Trustees felt unable to trade legally as a ‘going concern’.

“We have now taken the incredibly difficult decision to wind up the charity and to go into liquidation as we believe we are no longer able to operate legally in the way we would wish.”

Gloucester City Council were dismayed with the news:

“We are disappointed Aspire did not feel it was able to continue beyond September and understand this was a difficult decision”, said a council spokesperson.

“We are aware of the impact this will have on staff and the people who use these facilities, and we’re doing everything we can to find another provider to secure the service’s long-term future.”

It is feared the facilities might not reopen for a year, which has already caused disarray for local sports teams and clubs who make use of the venues.

Park Life Sport will have more on this story later today, including the reaction of those directly affected.

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