WEST Dunbartonshire’s Leisure Trust will need to take innovative steps to encourage customers to return to their facilities despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

A report was presented before the council’s corporate services committee last week which highlighted mixed performance indicators for the last financial year.

Despite the challenges faced as a result of the coronavirus, the leisure trust still scored an 88 per cent satisfaction rate from local residents.

Malcolm Bennie, strategic lead for communications, culture, communities and facilities, said: "There’s been a 29 per cent increase in participation, a total of 14 new projects and programmes, events and services have been introduced across West Dunbartonshire, and the service is achieving an 88 per cent satisfaction score from local residents.

“The emergence of Covid in the final weeks of the financial year had a significant impact on figures, and that makes it hard to accurately the judge the success in comparison to previous years.

“I think credit should be given to them for ending the year with only a small deficit of £5,000, which is easily covered by reserves.”

The trust was forced to fully close all of its facilities earlier in the year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a loss of income.

Mr Bennie said he and general manager John Anderson are working closely on this situation, and a report on future activity will be brought before the committee in 2021.

Mr Anderson said: “Many our customers haven’t returned, even though services have reopened.

“Our first priority is about maintaining the existing number of customers we had prior to the outbreak. This is going to be difficult given the restrictions and we won’t be able to have the same capacity as we did once before.”

A plan to address the problem will be drawn up and presented to the committee at a later date.