Leisure Centre upgrade given the go-ahead

Banbridge District Council has given the go-ahead to a major £600,000 improvements scheme for the town’s Leisure Centre.

Planned enhancements in the works, expected to take place in 2014, include the introduction of a new combined heat and power unit which will save on current energy costs.

Further to this a proposal for the installation of LED lighting is also being considered which, if approved, will provide energy savings.

The upgrading of the leisure pool slide and refurbishment of male and female dry changing areas are aimed at enhancing the customer experience.

Several maintenance projects will see improvements to both the building structure and roof with the purpose of increasing the long term lifespan of the building.

The implementation of these maintenance improvements are based on the findings of specialist structural engineers using information gained from comprehensive surveys of the building.

The news has been welcomed by Councillor Junior McCrum, who sits on the council’s Leisure Services committee.

“It’s good to get this money spent on the Leisure Centre before the Super Councils come in as it may be harder to get that sort of funding in the future,” said the DUP representative.

“It’s a good news story for the people of the district.

“It can take a lot of money to run the Leisure Centre in terms of electric bills and heating so to see savings made here should be welcomed.

Opened in 2001, Banbridge Leisure Centre is the flagship leisure and sporting facility in the district, welcoming over 7000 customers per week. The popular facility offers a host of facilities including fitness suite, swimming pool, multi-purpose sports hall, dance studio, squash courts, floodlit artificial outdoor pitches as well as crèche area and rooms available for meetings and birthday parties.

This latest commitment to leisure development follows on from a number of investment projects recently undertaken by the Council.

Opened in 2012, Gilford Community Centre is a £2.4m purpose built facility. The Council have overseen the development of a new synthetic 3G sports pitch in Rathfriland at a cost of £400,000. Dromore Community Centre has had a £25,000 changing facility upgrade and Banbridge Leisure Centre recently opened a new £115,000 state-of-the-art Spin Studio.

A council spokesperson said, “All these major investment undertakings by Banbridge District Council highlight a continued commitment to enhancing and developing all the District’s leisure facilities, an action which has been welcomed by the Council’s Elected Members who view this as a necessary, progressive and exciting investment for the people of Banbridge District.”