Waterworld Has ‘Viable & Affordable Future’ In Council U-Turn
Councillors yesterday backed proposals to hand over an iconic Wrexham Leisure Centre to a Trust – which could secure the building’s future for many years to come.
In what has been an ongoing debate surrounding the future of Waterworld, yesterday councillors agreed the facility has a positive future – with a structure / condition survey noting that the facility was in a good state of repair.
The future of the leisure centre was thrown into doubt in December 2013 when external consultants advised Wrexham Council to close the facility – which was also accompanied by the proposed closure of Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.
Initially it was proposed that the funds acquired by the demolition of Plas Madoc would contribute to the development of a replacement leisure facility on Bodhyfryd.
Recommendations were initially put forward to demolish the facility and replace Waterworld with a new state of the art leisure centre, costing nearly £12,000,000. However in February 2015 it was announced that a replacement facility was now unaffordable.
Roll forward 12 months and the outlook for the leisure centre has done a u-turn with the outlook for Waterworld appearing more positive, with councillors backing proposals to search for an existing trust to manage the facility. The Trust would also have Wrexham’s existing leisure facilities also included in the portfolio.
Speaking at yesterday’s Safeguarding, Communities and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships & Collaboration, Cllr Hugh Jones noted that Waterworld has a ‘viable and affordable future.”
Cllr Phil Wynn added: “I wasn’t comfortable making recommendations without the survey. My mind is more at rest after seeing the building, there’s reassurance as long as Waterworld is looked after.”
However concerns were raised about the viability of an existing Leisure Trust, with Cllr Arfon Jones commenting on the collapse of a trust run by Denbighshire Council, which resulted in the closure of facilities. Cllr Jones added: “What is our Plan B?”.
The committee was told that Wrexham Council would only be ‘tendering’ facilities to an existing trust and the criteria used to assess bids made for the facilities, would be made by Wrexham Council.
The overall decision on Waterworld will be decided by the Executive Board on Tuesday 14th April at 2pm. For those who can’t make the meeting, it is expected to be webcast on the Wrexham Council website as usual.
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