Three Yorkshire leisure centres for six months due to rocketing fuel costs

Three leisure centres in Yorkshire will close their doors from next week in a bid to cut costs over winter, it has been revealed.

Batley Baths and Recreation Centre, Colne Valley Leisure Centre (swimming pool only) and Deighton Sports Arena, all in Kirklees, will be closed until the end of March next year, when the situation will be reviewed.

Kirklees Active Leisure manages 12 leisure centres across the borough and earlier this month revealed that their premises were under threat of temporary closure due to financial pressures that have been felt since the pandemic.

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The subsequent hike in energy prices and economic crisis have put further financial strain on the organisation with the heating of swimming pools highlighted as a key issue. KAL feels that temporary closures are necessary to reduce costs and allow as many facilities as possible to continue operating.

Batley Baths and Recreation Centre on Cambridge Street.Batley Baths and Recreation Centre on Cambridge Street.
Batley Baths and Recreation Centre on Cambridge Street.

A spokesperson for KAL said: “We fully appreciate this decision will be disappointing for KAL staff and our customers. KAL would like to thank them all for their support and understanding in these challenging circumstances. Despite the temporary closures, KAL continues to provide a fantastic range of activities across our facilities and remains the largest provider of high-quality leisure facilities in the Kirklees area.”

The closures will come as a disappointment for many. Mother-of-two and regular user of Deighton Sports Arena, Louise Lewis, 40,previously expressing fear of the “massive impact” leisure centre closures will have when the threat of closure was first announced.

Ms Lewis feared for the community-wide impact of the closures, like the negative impact an absence of sporting facilities could have on mental health. She said: “Mental health took its toll on people during covid and sports are a way for people to alleviate some of these stresses.”

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Ms Lewis added she is concerned that competition will be unable to continue, as leisure centre courts rapidly become booked up seeing sports teams flock to alternative venues like local schools. She noted there has been an increase in prices for court hire which are becoming unaffordable, especially during the cost of living crisis.

KAL’s other sites will operate as normal over the coming months and alternative options will be put in place so customers can continue to use KAL’s services. Customers who use the affected facilities will also be contacted to provide further details around their options and how to contact KAL. Further details of the changes will be available on KAL’s website at: