Lightwaves will close next year

Lightwaves Leisure Centre
Lightwaves Leisure Centre
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SPORTS clubs will have to find new homes when Lightwaves Leisure Centre closes next summer.

Wakefield Council has announced it will close the centre, on Marsh Way.

The Express understands staff have been told it will close in July, when the city’s new £10m swimming pool and fitness facility opens on Sun Lane

Council chiefs admitted the new pool will not have a sports hall or squash courts and would not cover all of the services currently offered at Lightwaves.

Lisa Dodd, service director for sport and culture, said the council would work with clubs currently using Lightwaves’ to find new venues.

She said: “The council is investing £10m in a new pool and fitness facility on the site of the former Sun Lane Baths. As a result Lightwaves will be surplus to requirements and will cease to be managed by the council once the new facility opens in summer 2012.

“The operational budgets for Lightwaves will transfer to the new facility, which includes the staffing budgets. We are working with sports clubs that currently participate at Lightwaves to identify alternative venues.”

Ms Dodd said Lightwaves’ closure had been planned since 2008 and that it was included in the council’s Sport and Active Lifestyles Strategy, on which the public were consulted.

She said: “A cabinet report in September 2008 stated that the new facility would replace Lightwaves, and that thought would need to be given to user groups as the new facility would not cover all the facilities that Lightwaves provided. As a result there would be a need to relocate some users to alternative provision.”

Local community groups are preparing to submit proposals to take over the management of Lightwaves.

The new swimming pool and fitness centre will open on the site of the former Sun Lane baths, which closed in 2007.

It will house a six-lane, 25m pool, a learner pool, a 100 station fitness suite, a multi-use activity and dance studio plus a spectator area.