Jobs threatened at blaze-hit leisure centre

MORE than half of the jobs at a council-owned leisure centre are at risk as a question mark continues to hang over the future of the building six months after it was ravaged by a blaze.

As many as 30 posts out of the 58 workers at the Abbey Leisure Centre in Selby could be axed in the wake of a dramatic scaling back in the town’s sports provision following the fire in February. The Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, which was appointed by Selby District Council in 2009 to run the centre, confirmed redundancy talks are underway.

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A spokesman claimed it was “with great sadness” that the trust was unable to operate with the same number of jobs as before the fire as the firm had not been able to “replicate the range of leisure services” after the centre shut.

A gym has been opened in a former bingo hall in Selby as a stop-gap, but the leisure centre also provided a swimming pool, catering and a sports hall. The council confirmed it is considering options and could still have to demolish the leisure centre less than two years after it underwent a £1.1m revamp. Councillors are due to meet over the next two months to discuss the best way forward, according to a council spokeswoman.