One of Wales' most iconic water attractions will close for good under recommendations set to be considered by Denbighshire Council's cabinet. The Sun Centre in Rhyl has been under threat since private company Clwyd Leisure ceased trading last month. Ian Lang reports.
Denbighshire Council says the "cost and risk" of operating facilities at the Sun Centre in Rhyl, were deciding factors in recommending not to re-open the site. The recommendations will be discussed at a meeting of the council's cabinet on 25th March.
– Rebecca Maxwell, Denbighshire Council
We believe the financial risk associated with re-opening the Sun Centre are too great, as a lot of investment would be needed for urgent or imminent works. The kind of investment in question would be beyond the council's means; it would not provide value for money and the Sun Centre is a building with a short lifespan.
We also believe that it would not make economic sense to re-open the Nova in terms of the cost of running the facility in the short term when there are plans for complete refurbishment works in the longer term.
Denbighshire Council has set out short-term options for the future of the former Clwyd Leisure sites in Rhyl and Prestatyn.
Short-term options have now been set out which will be discussed by the council's cabinet later this month.
The council says that "numerous issues" have been found with the Rhyl's Sun Centre, including the poor condition of its building and equipment, which would need "significant repairs" to re-open.
It found the Nova Centre was in a reasonable condition, but "in need of an overhaul" and was operating at a loss. The North Wales Bowls Centre was deemed to be in a "fairly good condition" and only in need of relatively minimal repairs.
Recommendations due to go before the council's cabinet include:
Sun Centre, Rhyl
Not to re-open as a wet leisure facility
Explore potential for alternative use as dry facility
Nova Centre, Prestatyn
Not to re-open before proposed refurbishment, assuming business case is approved
Continue with the refurbishment business case before decision in April/May
North Wales Bowls Centre
- To re-open on slightly reduced opening hours, according to seasonal demand.
Talks to save hundreds of jobs at three leisure centres in Denbighshire have failed.
In a statement, Clwyd Leisure announced that Rhyl's Sun Centre and Prestatyn's Nova and Indoor Bowls Centre will be closed with immediate effect.
They said negotiations with Denbighshire County Council over transferring staff had finished with no way the jobs could be saved.
They added that an insolvency practitioner to co-ordinate the closure of the Company.
"It is with great regret that the Directors have had to make this decision and they thank all their dedicated staff for their efforts and all our loyal customers who have supported us through-out these difficult past months."
Clwyd Leisure will relinquish and hand back to the Council the leases of the Sun Centre, Nova and North Wales Bowls Centre today, together with the associated transfer of all site and support staff.
The Company is prepared to hand over to the Council all the fixed assets and equipment and a sum of £75,000 with a "real commitment" to provide further funds if they are available after closedown.
This will allow the facilities to remain open, secure the jobs of the staff, give customers confidence to continue using the facilities and allow the Council to determine the direction of the tourism and leisure offer in the towns of Rhyl and Prestatyn, the company said.