Blow to plans to save leisure centres in County Durham

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Hopes that under-threat leisure centres in County Durham could be sold off have been dashed.

Durham County Council ordered a review of six centres as part of plans to save £123.5m over the next four years.

But the authority has revealed the only private-sector partner which expressed an interest has pulled out, claiming the centres would not make money.

The Labour-run council said it was now considering bids from voluntary and community groups.

Leisure centres under threat

  • Ferryhill Leisure Centre
  • Sherburn Leisure Centre
  • Deerness Leisure Centre
  • Coxhoe Leisure Centre
  • Abbey Centre, Pity Me
  • Glenholm Centre, Crook

The council's corporate director of neighbourhood services, Terry Collins, said: "We have worked very hard to generate the interest in these centres and to support the groups which have come forward with bids.

"We are obviously disappointed the only private sector company which entered initial bids for all six centres has withdrawn.

"But we completely understand their reasons, which are based on the commercial viability of the facilities.

"We will continue to liaise with the other bidders and reiterate the legal and financial responsibilities we are obliged to meet in terms of moving forward."

Final decisions on the future of the centres is due to be taken by the council next month.

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