By KLTV Newsdesk
It has been announced that the Deighton Sports Arena will not be shutting its doors this month as initially expected.
Instead, the leisure centre is set to remain operational until March of next year, with the possibility of further extension until May, according to a recent update on Kirklees Active Leisure’s (KAL) website.
Last winter, the Deighton Sports Arena was among three leisure centres facing closure, only to reopen with reduced hours in March as a temporary solution.
Campaigners protested against the closure of the sports arena in December of last year
The decision to extend its operational period comes as Kirklees Active Leisure, responsible for managing ten centres on behalf of Kirklees Council, aims to explore alternative options for the facility’s future and comes under increasing pressure from grassroots campaigners protesting against several of the closures.
KAL has revealed that it will continue to manage the site until March 2024, potentially extending the lease to May.
The organization cites the need to give the council additional time to consider alternative arrangements.
Among the options under consideration is for the local community to take over the responsibility for running the facility as part of a community asset transfer.
The extended operational period allows more time for collaboration with the local community and exploration of potential alternatives, ensuring the continuity of current services.
The council is under pressure to save £47 million before the end of the financial year, leading to a reassessment of funding for KAL.
While the council provided a £6.1 million bailout this year, it has communicated its inability to sustain this level of funding, committing to a maximum annual contribution of £2.55 million.
In response to the financial constraints, a comprehensive review of KAL-run leisure centres across the borough has been initiated.
The review aims to determine which centres can operate within a reduced financial envelope, with only the Huddersfield and Spen Valley sites currently considered exempt from potential closure.
Meanwhile, campaigns and protests against the closures have continued to intensify, with over 200 people attending a march in Dewsbury and Batley last weekend.