Published: 02/12/2012 09:00 - Updated: 30/11/2012 14:28

Moray Leisure Centre in crisis talks

Moray Leisure Centre
Moray Leisure Centre

MORAY’s flagship leisure facility has started negotiations with its primary funder, Moray Council, which could determine its future.

Moray Leisure Centre will celebrate its 20th anniversary next summer, and every year it welcomes around 450,000 people through its doors.

However, it is facing a fight to survive with a £500,000 capital refurbishment needed by the summer of 2014.

The ice plant and heating vent at the Elgin-based centre requires to be replaced to comply with health and safety legislation.

It would cost around £100,000 to complete a temporary repair job, but that would be a sticking plaster solution and would not attract any grant funding.

The centre, which receives a £600,000 annual subsidy from the local authority, is hopeful of attracting 50% funding from sportScotland, the national sports body.

That would still leave a funding shortfall and the reason why the centre’s board of management has initiated discussions with the council.

Drew Baillie, chairman of the board, said: "We need to keep this facility in Moray, and that is what we are striving to do.

"We are being open and honest about the situation, and we will be doing our utmost on behalf of the people who use the facility to keep it open."

Three Moray councillors sit on the board of the centre, which is operated as a leisure trust.

It has an annual turnover of £1.9 million and employs 100 staff, a mix of full and part-time employees, and predominantly under the age of 25.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of this week's 'Northern Scot'

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