York & North Yorkshire

Revamped Selby leisure centre could be demolished after fire

A leisure centre in North Yorkshire severely damaged by a fire less than two years after it underwent a £1.1m refurbishment could be demolished.

Selby District Council said it would cost a "significant" amount of money to get Abbey Leisure Centre open again.

It also said it was "committed to providing leisure services".

Six fire crews controlled a huge blaze, which started at the centre's sauna room on Tuesday, after the alarm was raised by staff at 06:30 GMT.

Residents were urged to keep doors and windows closed because of the large amount of smoke from the fire.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service launched an investigation into the cause of the fire. It said the blaze started in the steam room and sauna area and had caused extensive damage, including a hole in the roof.

People 'devastated'

Structural engineers are examining the extent of the damage before a decision is made on whether the building will be repaired or demolished and rebuilt.

The leisure centre is run by the Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust on behalf of the council.

About 60 staff at the centre are due to be told later they could be redeployed to other areas of the council on a temporary basis while the state of the building is being assessed.

Martin Eden, from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, said: "We spent £1.1m just over a year ago and that investment led to a huge increase in the number of people in Selby using our facilities.

"So it's not just the staff and the people involved in putting that scheme together that are devastated, we've got thousands of customers who, quite understandably, will be now wondering what happens next."

The district council leader, Mark Crane, said: "The full extent of the damage is yet to be determined and that will, of course, influence what we do next. What I can say, however, is that we are absolutely committed to providing leisure services."

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