Plaid Cymru has urged Wrexham Council to keep Plas Madoc Leisure Centre open with a £50,000 grant. If not, it has proposed a series of concrete proposals to ensure the popular leisure centre stays open.
Marc Jones, spokesperson for Plaid Cymru in Wrexham, said:
"Allowing Plas Madoc Leisure Centre, which attracted 400,000 in the past year, to close for a second time would be nothing short of criminal. The council's recommendation to refuse any funding package is on the basis that the leisure centre isn't making a profit.Plaid Cymru's regional AM Llyr Gruffydd has also written today to Welsh Government cabinet secretary Carl Sargeant to ask whether the £500,000 grant he announced in October was conditional on Wrexham Council providing the funding. He has also asked the Welsh Government whether part of the grant could be used for revenue funding, i.e. to pay for immediate running costs.
"I'm sure the council realises how difficult it is for any leisure centre to make money given that it was losing £450,000 on the very same centre only two years ago. Plas Madoc provides an important service to the community, it improves the health and well-being of many and would be hugely missed by all of those who've grown up with it.
"So we're calling on Wrexham Council's executive board to provide the £50,000 funding for this year conditional on the Community Trust sorting out its financial shortcomings, which have been a problem.
"Plaid Cymru is making it clear that its councillors, if elected in May, will continue to support Plas Madoc as an important community asset for the whole borough."
Mr Jones stated:
"If the Welsh Government has £500,000 available for essential repairs and maintenance, then it should consider utilising a fraction of that cash for essential running costs. Otherwise the £500,000 will not be utilised and the leisure centre will be closed."Mr Jones also added:
"If neither Wrexham Council or the Welsh Government will fund running costs for the coming few months, then it's down to the community again. I've written to the Splash Community Trust to ask that they launch a Crowdfunder scheme and also to approach community councils throughout the borough for a one-off donation or loan to maintain the centre for the next six months.
"Nobody wants to lose Plas Madoc as a community facility so the decision on Tuesday is critical. The council would be getting a good deal for its £50,000. It's a drop in the ocean for an organisation with a £200 million budget. To put it into perspective, the mayor costs £138,000 a year and the annual bill for councillors is £930,000. I really hope the executive board makes the right decision on Tuesday.
"These are our suggestions to keep it open and I hope one of them works for the sake of the staff, volunteers and everyone who uses Plas Madoc Leisure Centre."