West View Leisure Centre faces an uncertain future after operators GLL announced it will remain closed for the foreseeable future.Advertisement
Staff at the leisure centre in Ribbleton have been warned their jobs are at risk due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the charitable social enterprise.
Trade Unions have been advised and a staff consultation process began on August 24.
A spokesperson said: “The closure of all leisure facilities across the UK for over four months during lockdown, coupled with the requirement to now operate at reduced capacity in order to comply with social distancing measures, has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for GLL, which is impossible to recoup.
“The cost of reopening West View Leisure Centre’s ageing building and the investment required to make it Covid-Secure has been found to be prohibitive.”
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In April 2017, Preston City Council transferred ownership of its two leisure centres, West View and Fulwood, to GLL.
GLL signed a 125 year lease on the two sites, and agreed they would remain open.
However Gareth Kirk, GLL’s Regional Director for Preston, said: “The exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic have meant we have had to make some hard choices.
“The reality is, without financial support from either local or national Government, we could only continue to operate in the city if we took action to cut our operating costs.
“Reducing leisure services and so staff numbers is not a decision we have taken lightly. But we believe this is the best available option for Preston. It will allow us to continue to operate Fulwood Leisure Centre and retain as many staff as possible.”
Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure for Preston City Council said: “We are disappointed to learn that West View is not currently reopening, due to the complications and financial tensions related to the ongoing pandemic.
“It is an incredibly difficult time for so many businesses, organisations and their employees. We know this may not have been an easy decision
“We are in continued dialogue with GLL and look forward to solutions being found in order to reopen this valuable community asset.”
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Are you a member at West View Leisure Centre? Will you continue to visit Fulwood while West View is closed? Let us know in the comments section.