New plan for leisure centres

An impression of the swimming pool at the new Craigavon Leisure Centre.

An impression of the swimming pool at the new Craigavon Leisure Centre.

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A plan is set to be agreed which will provide consistent opening hours across the council’s five leisure centres following repeated complaints from users.

The proposal will operate over the next three years - from December 23, 2016 to December 13, 2019 - when the new South Lakes Leisure Centre opens.

The council said the plan will provide “consistency and clarity” for customers. In recent years there have been complaints from members about differing opening days and hours.

Under the proposal all centres will be closed on eight public holidays per year – January 1, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, July 12 and 13, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing day.

 One main centre in each legacy area will open on a reduced hours basis on 10 days per year – St. Patrick’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Tuesday, May Day, May Bank Holiday, July 11, August Bank Holiday, and the week days between Boxing Day and New Year – when demand is lower than normal.

Within the Craigavon area, the one centre which is open will rotate, as per the September 2015 Committee Report.

 When a centre opens to the public on a reduced hours basis, then this is consistently 9am–5pm for all centres.

 The plan also clarifies which centres are open for days in lieu of public holidays, ie, when the public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

 The council also said that in order to provide total transparency for the public, new direct debit and annual members will be given a hard copy of the plan when they register for membership and the plan will be on permanent public display in every main centre.

The proposal was approved by the leisure and community services committee, and still has to be ratified by the full council.