Kirklees Council holding consultation on whether to close three leisure centres to cut costs

Dewsbury Sport Centre is one of three centres at risk of being closed permanently. Credit: Google Maps

Three leisure centres in Kirklees could be forced to close permanently due to council cut-backs.

It's after Kirklees Council said it can no longer provide Kirklees Active Leisure, the body which operates the 11 centres across the district, with the same level of financial support.

Dewsbury Sports Centre, Batley Sports and Tennis Centre and Colne Valley Leisure centre are the three sites proposed to be shut to alleviate financial challenges the council is facing.

Financial responsibility for the physical buildings belongs to the council, with repairs and maintenance also covered by the local authority. It also provides a grant to Kirklees Active Leisure each year to subsidise the provision of leisure services.

The council has said it is only able to provide a grant of £2.55m in the next financial year, but Kirklees Active Leisure says without any additional funding it will not be able to operate all 11 sites.

The three sites at risk of closure are said to require more funding compared to the district's other sites and more investment in repairs and maintenance.

Earlier this month it was announced Dewsbury Sports Centre would close after RAAC concrete was discovered.

Meanwhile families of residents at two specialist dementia care homes in Kirklees say they dread the news that they will shut, after the facilities were put at risk due to council cutbacks.

Kirklees Council has set out plans to save reduce spending to fill a black hole in its budget of £47 million this financial year.

As a result Castle Grange in Huddersfield and Claremont House in Heckmondwike are both at risk of closure.

The council has said it is consulting the public about which centres should remain open to ensure there is still a level of public access to swimming, sport, and exercise across the district.

Councillor Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Regeneration, said: "The economic situation facing the UK is having a significant impact on everyone including local councils. Government funding has failed to plug the gap created by the long-term impacts of austerity, COVID and increased energy prices.

"This means more of council budgets are being absorbed by statutory [legally required] and other essential front-line services. This has left us having to make very difficult decisions on the ongoing provision of other services, such as sport and leisure.’

"I am asking Cabinet permission to consult on the proposals, so that we can understand the impact they will have on local people. The information gathered will be used alongside the economic, environmental, social, and legal information available to the council to draft a report for a final decision at the Cabinet Meeting in December."

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