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Festive opening times compromise at leisure centre

By Andrew Dixon

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Inverness Leisure centre, near Bught Park.
Inverness Leisure centre, near Bught Park.

A COMPROMISE on the controversial festive closure of a popular leisure centre has been announced — giving customers an additional three days to use the facility.

Inverness Leisure has been criticised after closing its doors for a two-week festive period for maintenance work in the last two winters.

But it’s board of trustees has agreed to now close it from 23rd December to 2nd January each winter.

The additional three open days will cost around £8,000 which would be identified from existing facility budgets and the hope of increased footfall.

It would have cost between £25,000 and £30,000 to open over the full festive period.

"In reaching this decision, the Board has considered various options including costs, maintenance and customers feedback," said Inverness Leisure’s general manager James Martin.

"There has been a substantial amount of work put into putting this recommendation in front of the board and I can confirm that the decision to retain some level of festive season closure was not reached easily by any parties involved.

"The facility will now close two days later than the previous years as well as re-opening Inverness Leisure a day earlier in order to welcome those who want to get into their New Year resolution fitness.

"With a facility like Inverness Leisure there is a substantial amount of maintenance that goes on throughout the year, however certain jobs cannot be done when we have public in the building.

"I appreciate that some jobs could be done overnight however our information tells us that to bring contractors in to undertake the works during a night shift would increase the actual £30,000 plus maintenance costs this year by around another 50 per cent.

"I am pleased to say that thanks to our maintenance team and contractors we received a high level of positive comments about the improvements which were carried out during Christmas and New Year.

"Having spoken to many of our customers since the last year’s closure, the vast majority of them are very supportive of the Company choosing this time of year for works to be done rather than the alternatives of either doing it at other times in the calendar or increasing our admission charges.

"We would thank all of our customers for their ongoing support and look forward to welcoming them to facilities at Inverness Leisure in the forthcoming weeks, months and years."

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