By KLTV Newsdesk –
Local community leaders have been left ‘Shocked’ and ‘Outraged’ after Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) announced the closure of two of their centres and a swimming pool until next March due to ‘rising costs’
Under financial pressure due to issues mainly around the pandemic, KAL announced temporary closures to the Deighton Sports Arena, Batley Sports and Recreation Centre, and the swimming pool at Colne Valley Leisure Centre.
KAL is a not-for-profit charitable organisation that runs 12 leisure and fitness sites across Kirklees. The centres will be closed from December 16 until the end of March. It is said that the situation will be reviewed at that time.
In a statement on its website, KAL noted the huge increases in energy costs as one of the main reasons for the closures, along with “associated cost increases in other supplies and services”.
While KAL’s other sites will remain open over the next few months, residents in Deighton and Batley have been left in the dark as to why their areas in particular were chosen for closure.
The closures will have a large impact on the local community, with many sports teams and local active groups needing to find alternative venues.
In a statement, Howard Belafonte, Event Co-Ordinator for the Deighton Carnival, said: The Community is extremely unhappy and angry about this ill-planned, ill-timed and no sense decision.
“With everything that has been going on in the ward in the last 12 months where has the thinking come from?
“We need resources in the ward, not resources taken away.”
Local residents have described the Deighton Sports Arena as a “lifeline to many young people” and that the news “contradicts the physical and mental health interest of the whole Community”.
Regarding the decision, 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 are expected to have a large impact on the local communities of both Deighton and Batley. What do you think? Do you agree with the closures? Let us know in the comments below.
KLTV will be following this story as it progresses, and we will update with new information as it appears.