Still waiting on future of sports centre

Chryston High School and cultural centre - protest to save Iain Nicolson Centre. Councilors and officials attending the official launch of the new centre and school. Cllr Jim Logue'Photo Emma Mitchell'11/12/12
Chryston High School and cultural centre - protest to save Iain Nicolson Centre. Councilors and officials attending the official launch of the new centre and school. Cllr Jim Logue'Photo Emma Mitchell'11/12/12

CAMPAIGNERS are still waiting to find out if their community sports centre will be saved from the axe.

North Lanarkshire Council has agreed a swingeing series of cutbacks to save cash.

It is has reduced funding to North Lanarkshire Leisure (NLL) by £1.5m over three years.

Although that was less than the proposed £1.994m it is still a hefty sum and means savings will be necessary.

Options include the closure of the Iain Nicolson Recreation Centre in Chryston – sparking fury in the local community, who have rallied valiantly to its defence.

They have taken hope from the decision not to close Chilterns Care Home in Muirhead.

Linda Hone – spokesperson for the group – said: “The Chilterns and the First Stop Shop were saved as a result of the public outcry from the community, petitions and the like – alerting the council they were making a mistake and these facilities should not be removed from our area.

“The Iain Nicolson Centre has been allowed to be run down. It has has not been afforded the same investment or promotion other centres have had.

“The more we dig, the more we see that Strathkelvin/Northern Corridor has been treated like an appendage of North Lanarkshire and not part of it.”

The Iain Nicolson Centre was used 62,636 times in 2011-12 and is popular with people and groups of all ages.

Elaine Smith – Coatbridge and Chryston MSP – has lodged a motion supporting the centre at the Scottish Parliament.

She has called on fellow MSPs to oppose any proposal to close the facility.

Ms Smith praised the “vigorous campaigning” carried out the Save Iain Nicolson Centre Group.

She claimed the closure could have “detrimental social and health implications” as it does an “excellent” job in promoting healthy lifestyles.

The MSP also backed staff at the under-threat facility.

A spokesperson for NLL said: “A board meeting will take place over the next few weeks to discuss the implications of the management fee given to the trust by the council.”

Campaigners have called on local representatives at all levels to support their campaign.

Visit www.facebook.com/SaveIainNicolsonRecreationCommunityCentre

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