Plas Madoc Leisure Centre campaigners ready for crunch meet

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A CRUNCH meeting in the fight to reopen Plas Madoc Leisure Centre could see the facility move a step closer to reopening.

Splash Community Trust board members will meet with council officers to present a business plan they hope will convince Wrexham Council to transfer the running of the facility to them.

Trust board member Darrell Wright said he was keeping his fingers crossed for a positive outcome.

He said: “We have completed the business plan and we put the finishing touches to it over the weekend before we meet with council officers on Thursday afternoon.

“It is one hell of a big meeting and it’s a case of fingers crossed it goes well.

“After that, we have got a public meeting on Thursday night at the Air Products Club in Acrefair and we hope to present the business plan to the public.”

Mr Wright said the completion of the business plan was the result of months of hard work behind the scenes.

Cllr Paul Blackwell, of Plas Madoc ward on Wrexham Council, expressed his hope for the trust be given the chance to take over the facility.

He said: “It would be great to see it reopen and it would be perfect with the summer holidays coming up for schools to give kids something to do.

“It is like an empty chasm in the heart of the ward at the moment.”

The Acrefair facility was mothballed by the council in April, but the swimming pool has not been drained.

The trust has until October 1 to raise enough cash to take over the centre, which costs about £500,000 per year to run. If the community trust cannot successfully take over the running of the facility it will be demolished.

The closure move was part of cost-cutting measures aimed at saving £13.8 million over the 2013-14 financial year and £45m over the next five years. But last week, Wrexham Council executive board members said cuts would have to be more severe than first thought.

Cllr Malcolm King, lead member for finance at the council, said the “bombshell” of now having to make an estimated £60 million of cuts between 2013 and 2018 – a third higher than previously feared – would have “huge consequences” for the county.

Cllr King said: “It’s going to be a harsh reality. The real bombshell here is we are now facing cuts of £45 million over the first three years.

“I’d be surprised if the figure for the five-year period is not at least £60 million now.”

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