North East Wales

Clwyd Leisure sites in Rhyl and Prestatyn could reopen

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Media captionCouncillor Huw Jones said visitors had not been impressed by the Sun Centre

Three leisure sites in Denbighshire which closed after a trust running them could not afford to carry on could be reopened by the council.

Clwyd Leisure said on Friday it was shutting Rhyl Sun Centre, Prestatyn's Nova Centre and the North Wales Indoor Bowls Centre because of funding issues.

Denbighshire council said it would carry out a full condition survey of the sites to see if they could reopen.

The 125 staff under threat would be the first to be offered jobs, it said.

Clwyd Leisure was set up by Denbighshire council in 2001 to run facilities on its behalf.

But the council's cabinet decided to withdraw financial support of £200,000 for 2014/15 due to concerns over the way the organisation was run.

Trustees of the not-for-profit organisation had been holding talks with the authority for months over a possible takeover, but they ended without resolution on Friday.

Clwyd Leisure said it had no choice but to close the company down and shut the facilities with immediate effect.

Denbighshire council's corporate director, Rebecca Maxwell, said members of the authority felt they had done all they could to help.

Keys handover

"The council has worked closely with Clwyd Leisure over recent years to try and help address the issues that have been raised around the management and running of the facilities," she said.

"We feel that we have done our utmost to assist the company.

Image copyright Eirian Evans
Image caption Rhyl Sun Centre was closing with immediate effect, Clwyd Leisure said

"Once the keys have been handed over to the council, our staff will be carrying out a full condition survey. That will allow us to determine if we are going to be able to get them open."

Ms Maxwell said the council recognised this was an unsettling time for staff, but said should it decide to take over the running of the facilities, current Clwyd Leisure staff would be considered first.

The closures affect 70 full time staff and 55 part-time employees.

Denbighshire council will also look at promoting suitable vacancies within the council if they become available, she added.

Huw Jones, the council cabinet's lead member for leisure and tourism, said visitors had not been impressed by facilities such as the Sun Centre.

"The comments we get back from visitors are that they won't go back to the Sun Centre ... we're trying to address that," he said.

"The plans we have put in place for Rhyl and the plans we have got for Rhyl are very ambitious but the Sun Centre unfortunately have let themselves and Rhyl down."

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