AN invitation has been sent out to leisure providers to take over the management of St Mary's Leisure Centre. 

The centre, which was under threat of closure before the current Labour administration took power, is currently managed temporarily by Active Nation.

But now an invite has been sent out by the council asking for an experienced provider to manage the centre going forward. 

St Mary's would continue to be owned by the council and it is hoped that it will be a centre for leisure, wellbeing and community uses, offering a range of sporting facilities and a space for groups, clubs and events.

READ MORE: Hundreds attend as St Mary's Leisure Centre reopens its doors

Cllr Toqeer Kataria, communities and leisure boss, said: "St Mary's Leisure Centre is a much-loved facility in Southampton, located in the heart of inner-city communities, with great public transport connections.

"As part of our commitment to developing an accessible and diverse leisure offer, we want to ensure that this centre continues to play an important role in the city, in enabling individuals to enhance their physical and mental health well-being, whilst being a place that facilitates social connection.

"Building strong foundations for life through leisure is so important to us.

"That is why we are looking for organisations who have the experience to provide a renewed offer that will take St Mary’s Leisure Centre into this next phase.

"If there any organisations interested, please do express your interest.”

READ MORE: St Mary's Leisure Centre: City council launches public consultation

The centre was previously run by Solent University before an agreement with the council came to an end. 

The Conservative administration at the time said it would cost too much to keep the facility open. 

The vision for the centre is for it to offer a gym, badminton, squash, fitness classes and other sporting activities. 

It could also be set to include stop-smoking clinics, general health checks and drop-in sessions. 

St Mary's would also be available for private hire events such as family events, birthdays and weddings.

More information on the scheme can be found on the council's procurement portal.