Demand sees pool  hours extended

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

NEWRY, Mourne and Down District Council will  extend the opening hours of Newry Leisure Centre on Sundays in early November due to popular demand.
Since opening in March 2015, the facility has attracted 30,000 visitors a month and, such is the demand, the council have decided to extend the centre's opening hours, which will now see the centre open at 10am on Sundays.
A spokesperson said that the new leisure centre has proven more than three times more popular than the old Newry Swimming Pool in the adjacent site, and that this has led to timetabling and scheduling issues.
The spokesperson said: "Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Newry Leisure Centre receives on average 30,000 visitors per month to the new facility since the opening of 'Phase 1' in March 2015, compared to approximately 9,000 visitors per month at the old facility.
“The increase in visitors to the Centre has generated a greater demand for swimming pool space and the Council is continually reviewing it's timetabling to cater for all the communities needs and this includes the demand for public recreational swimming, public lane swimming, swim lessons, sporting clubs and less-abled groups.
“The Centre Phase 2 opening arrangements will provide an earlier opening time of 10am on Sunday mornings compared to the current 1.30pm opening time.  This along with the current Centre Phase 1 opening hours will result in an additional 14.5 hours extra for public usage on a weekly basis."
Timetables are available at the reception area to allow users to view the pool scheduling and the timetable is updated annually to reflect seasonal bookings from September to June. There is minimal swimming club time allocated during the summer season and a minimum of two lanes are always available.
Newry SDLP Councillor Michael Savage has welcomed the extended hours and believes it will help alleviate both lane congestion and assuage the public's frustrations over swimming availability.
He said: "This is a positive step and I welcome it. Our fantastic new swimming pool has become a huge attraction and has been a victim of its own success.
"I am aware that there have been frustrations relating to access for some members of the public and I believe the extended opening hours will go some way to getting the balance right between private lessons and public access.
"With the new Leisure Centre opening soon Newry will have first class leisure facilities that will enhance the well-being of the people of the city. It is vital that all our citizens enjoy the benefits of these state of the art facilities."


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