Council cuts force leisure centres to close

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PLANS to close three South Yorkshire leisure centres are set to be approved at a meeting tomorrow

Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet will decide on a request to close Athersley leisure centre, Penistone Leisure Centre and Wombwell Swimming Pool - which operator Barnsley Premier Leisure says are no longer viable.

If approval is given, the centres will officially close from Tuesday, May 31.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesman responsible for sport, said: “Any decision to close a leisure facility is never taken lightly.

“Sadly, given the UK’s well-publicised financial climate and the immense pressures on the budgets of council’s and charitable organisations such as BPL, such difficult decisions become unavoidable.”

Athersley Leisure Centre is already closed to the public on health and safety grounds.

Former customers are being encouraged to use facilities at Carlton Advanced Learning Centre.

Barnsley Premier Leisure said daytime use of Penistone Leisure Centre has been ‘consistently low for some time’ on weekdays.

The company said the facility was running at a significant loss and needed £270,000 of maintenance work.

Alternative sports facilities are available at Penistone Advanced Learning Centre.

Meanwhile, the company says £700,000 is needed over the next five years to run and maintain Wombwell Swimming Pool.

It says ‘the pressure on budgets in the current financial climate means it is no longer economically viable to continue funding this facility’.

Customers are being encouraged to use pools at Hoyland and Dearnside leisure centres instead.