WREXHAM FC manager Andy Morrell has thrown his weight behind the campaign to save a leisure centre.
Wrexham Council, which faces budget saving targets of at least £45 million over the next five years, has outlined plans to build a leisure centre to replace Waterworld in the town centre by borrowing an estimated £11.9 million and closing Plas Madoc Leisure Centre in Acrefair.
Consultants believe an estimated £857,000 will be saved by closing Plas Madoc, as well as shutting gyms at Ysgol Clywedog and Queensway Leisure Centre and handing back dual use facilities to schools, with the exception of the Ysgol Clywedog swimming pool.
But Reds’ player-manager Morrell has added his voice to the opposition to the move.
He said: “I am disappointed to hear the news about Plas Madoc.
“Any facility that encourages and promotes exercise and healthy living needs to be backed and kept open.
“Our future stars may develop a taste for sport by participating in activities at such venues.”
His views have been echoed by many sports clubs and teams which currently use the leisure centre on a weekly basis.
The council’s executive board will vote on Tuesday, January 14 on whether to go ahead with the closure proposal.
The campaign is planning to unite local communities in a mass protest three days earlier on Saturday outside the Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.
Organisers are asking people to protest with whistles, pots and pans to make noise. They are urging people to wear sports gear and bring their friends and children.
Campaigners said they were grateful to Morrell for speaking out on this important issue.
Alison Roberts, of Save Plas Madoc Leisure campaign, said: “Andy Morrell is right to express concerns about where our youngsters are going to excel in sports in the future if these facilities go.
“This is where generations of young sportsmen and women have taken their first steps and gained valuable experience.
“Do we really want to jeopardise that and the health and wellbeing of our communities?”