Angus Council’s delayed switch to a charitable trust set-up for the area’s culture and leisure facilities is targeted for the end of this year.
Almost 600 staff working in leisure centres, swimming pools, museums, libraries and other facilities will move to the new Angus Alive organisation on December 1.
Council chiefs have given an assurance that there are no plans to cut posts under the new arrangement.
The new organisation will operate under the name Angus Alive.
A shadow board has now been established to progress the plan, chaired by councillor Jeanette Gaul.
She said: “This is a hugely exciting development in the way that culture and leisure services can be provided in Angus in the future.
“By transferring the services to a trust there will be greater flexibility and opportunity for the services to develop, to better meet customer needs. The trust will be able to access funding sources which the council can’t and this will help to both sustain jobs and, where possible, achieve savings.”
Councillors Bill Duff, Colin Brown and David Fairweather are also on the shadow board.
Angus Alive will follow the example set by other authorities across Scotland where culture and leisure trusts have been in place for some time. It will operate as an autonomous body, managed by an independent board.
The trust will be commissioned to provide a specified range and quality of services on behalf of Angus Council.
The Webster Memorial Theatre, town halls and country parks are also among the facilities which will come under the Angus Alive umbrella.
A new service integrating libraries and Access Office functions will also be part of the new trust.
A council spokesperson told The Courier: “Work on the overall structure of the new organisation is ongoing but at the point of transfer, all staff who are employed in the services within the scope of the trust will transfer from the council to the trust under Tupe (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment).
Those buildings which are used by culture and leisure services will continue to be used by the new trust but will remain entirely in council ownership.