Residents fail to stop Nantyglo leisure centre closure
10:09am Tuesday 24th December 2013 in News
DESPITE an outcry by residents, Nantyglo Leisure Centre will officially close today.
It is expected the windows and doors will be boarded up, and some equipment has already been moved out.
The decision was announced in August as part of Blaenau Gwent Council’s attempt to address a £10 million deficit.
Since then, a campaign group set up by concerned local residents has been in meetings with the council to see if they can take over the running of the much-loved facility as part of a community asset transfer.
Nantyglo Community Leisure Ltd is a not-for-profit registered company run by volunteers and paid staff who hope to take over the running of Nantyglo Leisure Centre from the council.
On their social media page, the group say it has drawn up a ‘robust’ business plan which has already been presented to the council.
The council says it is still in meetings with the group to see if it is feasible to establish a community asset transfer and sustainable future for the building.
Glenys Morgan, 60, from Nantyglo, uses the pool three times a week. She said: “I cannot see how the closure can be justified in an area like this, which is one of the poorest in Wales and also has high rates of obesity.”
Nantyglo and Blaina Town Council has also said it does not want the centre to close.
Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith said: “Far from mourning what we may lose, I’m aiming to keep my hopes up for the future of Nantyglo Leisure Centre.
“The community group Nantyglo Leisure Centre Ltd are still forging ahead in their attempt to take over the running of the site.
“Hopefully if everyone works together it can be a cornerstone for many years more.”
Cllr Anita Hobbs, executive member for social services, children and active living, said: “There is no connection between the opening of Ebbw Vale Sports Centre and the closure of Nantyglo Sports Centre.
“The closure is as a result of the need to generate in year savings for 2013/14 in order to contribute to balancing the council’s budget.”
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