New arrangements have been agreed for a sports centre in north Dorset.

West Dorset District Council full council met to discuss the transfer of the management of community access to the Gryphon Sports Centre in Sherborne.

Councillors noted the new arrangements for the operation of the Gryphon Sports Centre as a community facility and approved the dissolution of the Gryphon Leisure Centre Management Committee.

Following discussions between the council and the school, it was agreed that the management of community access to The Gryphon School’s sports facilities would transfer to the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust and its trading subsidiary.

The transfer of the service took place on November 1, 2017.

The Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust (SAST) is a newly formed multi-academy trust comprising seven local schools and has created a commercial subsidiary (SASTCO Ltd) to manage its non-educational trading activities.

In return for taking on the operational obligations previously borne by the district council and for continuing to offer a community service, SAST has been awarded a one-off grant of £350,000 by the council. This grant will be used by SASTCO Ltd to assist with running costs until the end of the joint-use agreement in 2021 and will also be used to improve the facilities.

In addition, the school has agreed to a four-year extension to the joint-use agreement until 2025 although with the capacity to break the agreement at any point having given 12-months notice.