Negotiations to save Rhyl Sun Centre and Prestatyn attractions continue

Published date: 22 January 2014 |
Published by: Matt Jones 
Read more articles by Matt Jones  Email reporter


NEGOTIATIONS are continuing in a bid to save Rhyl Sun Centre and two Prestatyn attractions from closure.

Denbighshire Council and Clwyd Leisure are in discussions over the future of the leisure complex as well as The Nova Centre and the North Wales Bowls Centre.

The Sun Centre may not open again while the Nova and Bowls Centre may close on March 31, with the loss of up to 70 permanent jobs and 55 seasonal posts.

Bosses at Clwyd Leisure say they want to see the facilities remain open and had asked the council to take back control of the company, a plan which was rejected at a council meeting last week.

Denbighshire Council will withdraw all funding for Clwyd Leisure as of April 1, and the company say they will not be able to open and are on the verge of liquidation.

Hywyn Williams, Denbighshire Council’s corporate director for communities, said: “The lease is in the ownership of Clwyd Leisure at the moment.

“It depends on what action they take whether we get the lease back.

“They can keep the lease or hand it back to us. If the lease were handed back we would look to see if we can to keep the facilities going. Nobody wants to see them closed.”

Chris Ruane, MP for the Vale of Clwyd, said: “Denbighshire Council is willing to operate the facilities for the 2014 season but it does require the full co-operation of Clwyd Leisure.

“I hope the two can work together to preserve the jobs and the tourism and leisure facilities for the good of the towns, staff and those who use them.”

Denbighshire Council said it has “serious concerns” about the way Clwyd Leisure was being run as well as the operation of the facilities.

Clwyd Leisure said the reduction in council funding from £391,000 a year in 2001 to £195,000 in 2014/15 has meant they have lost out on funding which would have been reinvested in the facilities.

The remaining £200,000 grant that would have been provided to Clwyd Leisure in 2014/15 will be now be set aside to promote leisure, tourism and events.

A Clwyd Leisure spokesman said: “We believe the issues raised as major concerns regarding taking over the company have been exaggerated.

“Over the last two years close to 136,000 customers have enjoyed the Sun Centre alone, so the small sample Denbighshire cited is far outweighed by the many compliments our managers and staff receive saying how much people enjoy our facilities.”

Denbighshire Council said Clwyd Leisure has reserves it could call upon to carry on operating, but the firm said  reserves would be used to pay staff if the company was forced close down.

The spokesman added: “The unexpected decisions by the cabinet of Denbighshire Council meant directors must consider the impact of those decisions and apply due diligence in agreeing a way forward.

“Before our professional advisors can recommend to the board whether it is necessary to enter into liquidation, it is necessary for the council to advise on its position with regard to the pension fund guarantee.

“A further statement will be released once Denbighshire Council has responded to our request to confirm their position on this matter.”

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