A community run leisure centre which was saved from closure by a team of volunteers is to receive a £500,000 grant from the Welsh Government.
Plas Madoc Leisure Centre will receive the grant as part of the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities programme.
The grant will help fund a series of urgent repairs to the centre including a replacement roof, fixing wiring and insulation, replacing pool plant equipment and upgrading the CCTV and fire alarm.
The Welsh Government’s Community Facilities programme is a capital grant fund which aims to develop and improve facilities which help prevent or mitigate poverty and its effects.
Announcing the funding, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant, said the grant would ensure the centre is fit for purpose and could continue to provide vital services to the local area.
Carl Sargeant said: “The centre is an important community facility. It is not only used for sports and fitness activities. As well as a community café there is a children’s soft play area and community meeting space all of which are well used by a range of groups including Communities First and Citizens Advice.
“I am pleased to approve this grant so that work can start on the facility and help make it sustainable into the future.”
A spokesperson for Plas Madoc Leisure Centre said: “The Splash Community Trust is delighted to be awarded this grant from Welsh Government. This funding will ensure that Plas Madoc Leisure Centre can be repaired and renovated to guarantee it is safe and efficient.
“With this funding we can repair the roof, the electrical circuitry and update the Pool Plant room. Without these essential repairs it would be very difficult to continue to offer the level of service our customers deserve.
“It is so uplifting to receive such a vote of confidence from Welsh Government after all the hard work that has gone into saving the Centre. This vital asset was brought back to life by the local community and with this investment and their ongoing support we hope to continue to grow and prosper.
“As much as this grant will help with the structural repairs of the building we are still in need of financial assistance to help with the running costs of the Centre and hope that our own local authority will now support us as Welsh Government has, and secure our long term future.
“We are so grateful for this support and are now looking forward, knowing that the Leisure Centre will be here for a very long time for future generations to enjoy.”
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates has also welcomed the news, adding: I welcome the huge investment of £500,000 in Plas Madoc Leisure Centre by the Welsh Labour Government, announced this morning by communities minister Carl Sargeant.
“The volunteers and the hard-working staff have done an amazing job, from rescuing and reopening the centre to making it the success story it is today.
“The fact that Plas Madoc is even still standing is testament to people power, and the public need to continue to support it as they have done so brilliantly over the past two years.
“I’m proud that the Welsh Labour Government has also shown its support for Plas Madoc, and I would like to thank Carl Sargeant for awarding this grant.”
The leisure centre was set to close permanently after Wrexham Council announced that they could no longer keep the facility due to budget cuts.
However in a u-turn in October 2014, Wrexham’s Executive Board voted in favour of handing over a 20 year lease to Plas Madoc Leisure Centre over to the Splash Magic Community Trust, along with a £50,000 grant to help kick start the reopening of the leisure centre.
The Trust have recently asked for additional funding from Wrexham Council to help continue their services at the leisure centre.
The Leader of Wrexham Independent Group has welcomed the news, saying: “Our group opposed the closure and supported a motion to give them £50,000 in October 2014.
Cllr David A Bithell said that Plas Madoc is ‘doing well’ and ‘we hope that this injection of cash will support the facility going forward’.