Centre is set to receive further windfall

Manager David Sweetman at Garstang YMCA Leisure Centre
Manager David Sweetman at Garstang YMCA Leisure Centre

A surge in membership at Garstang Leisure Centre has prompted Wyre bosses to review their investment – with a further £50,000 being added to next year’s budget.

The centre in Windsor Road will now see a £300,000 overhaul in its facilities, following a 29 per cent increase in footfall, the most popular leisure centre in the borough.

Wyre Peter Gibson said the cash boost came after lobbying of Garstang Wyre’s councillors.

He said: “I was approached by Couns Atkins, Balmain and Collinson regarding additional funding for Garstang Leisure Centre.

“They quite rightly pointed out that investment in the centre last year has resulted in a 29 per cent increase in footfall. Their argument follows that any extra investment will further improve facilities and usage, and also provide a better return for council taxpayers.

“These councillors have always fought hard for their area and demonstrated this once again, convincing me to increase the capital budget for 2014/15 from £250,000 to £300,000.”

The leader made the announcement at the full meeting of the council in approving Wyre’s budget for 2014/15.

The cash injection is part of a wider leisure project which will see the authority plough £5.4m into Poulton and Thornton, beginning later this year.

While the extra funds have been welcomed fellow Tory councillor for Cabus Ward Roger Brooks is still calling for a resolution in the ongoing saga of a new swimming pool in the town.

Initial leisure plans released in 2012 cited expansion of the YMCA- run facility, to include a four-lane pool.

Wyre Coun for Garstang Tom Balmain said the decision on whether Garstang residents would benefit from a renovated pool would be of Lancashire County Council and not Wyre.

He said: “The ball is firmly in County’s court, but the additional funding from Wyre is tremendous news and it should be welcomed with open arms.

“We need investment but I urge people to keep using the facilities.

“We’ve turned a corner for greater things to come.”