Aquatec pool to close

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NORTH Lanarkshire Leisure has announced plans to close the public swimming pool at the Aquatec in Motherwell.

The organisation, which runs North Lanarkshire Council’s leisure facilities, intends to convert the pool and health suite into a soft play area in 2014, but the gym and other facilities will be unaffected.

This is part of a scheme to save £1.2 million which will also include the closure of the Iain Nicolson Recreation Centre in Chryston and reduced hours at the John Smith Pool, Airdrie; Kilsyth Pool and Shotts Leisure Centre swimming pool.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Leisure said: “The financial pressures facing services at the moment and over the next few years mean a level of savings need to be made.

“In many cases, this is resulting in very difficult decisions to reduce, rationalise or in some cases cease service provision altogether.

“As a charitable sports trust, North Lanarkshire Leisure is not immune to these efficiency pressures via significant reductions in the contract management fee from North Lanarkshire Council.

“To date we have been extremely successful in terms of increasing the number of customers using our services and this growth in both customers (96 per cent) and income (192 per cent) has ensured that there has been significant investment to sport facilities and programmes, and minimal disruption to the level of services which we provide during our first six years.

“However, it is now no longer possible to achieve the continued significant budget savings as a result of a substantial reduction in core funding and at the same time meet increasing cost pressures brought about by the current financial climate.

“Regrettably therefore, North Lanarkshire Leisure has required to identify several areas where services can be rationalised in order to meet the necessary savings.”

Savings will also be made by the removal of senior leisure attendants at Wishaw Sports Centre and the Tryst in Cumbernauld, rationalisation of swimming teachers’ contracts, a review of overtime payments and the introduction of floating public holidays and single shift working.

North Lanarkshire Leisure will consult over the next two weeks with all stakeholders, customers, staff and partners regarding the proposals.

The spokesman added: “While this course of action is regrettable for North Lanarkshire Leisure and its stakeholders every effort has been made to minimise service reduction.”

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