PROSPECTS for Rhyl's Sun Centre could be buoyed by the involvement of a millionaire businessman, as Denbighshire Council agrees to involve third parties in the attraction's future.
An agreement was made by Denbighshire Cabinet yesterday following comments from multi-millionaire businessman, Mo Chaudry, chairman of WaterWorld aqua park in Stoke-on-Trent, who publicly expressed an interest in the Sun Centre “if the deal was right”.
Mr Chaudry said he was “disappointed” that the Denbighshire authority had not been in touch with him, but a spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council said that "We have opened it up; anyone considering interest in the Sun Centre can come and speak to us.”
During the cabinet meeting, members agreed that the former Rhyl flagship attraction would not reopen as an aquatic facility which is operated or managed by the Council.
Council officers were granted permission to talk with third parties who may be interested in taking over the Sun Centre as either a wet or dry leisure facility.
It is believed that members have been in talks with other companies about transforming the centre into a dry activity centre.
In a report, councillor Huw Edwards commented that the Sun Centre’s equipment and building was in poor condition.
He said: “Building repair and maintenance costs have been estimated in the region of £218,000 in year one and £500,000 in the next two or three years.
“Using the Centre for a dry wheeled/adventure adrenaline zone leisure offer is worthy of further exploration for a number of reasons: a dry offer would be less costly to run and could prolong the life of the building to more than just a few years; the investment and operation by a commercial operator would release the Council from the ongoing distraction of operating an ageing facility; a potentially all-year-round attraction could be developed.”
Earlier this year Clwyd Leisure had to close the Rhyl Sun Centre after Denbighshire Council axed a £200,000 annual subsidy.
The not-for-profit company ran all three attractions.
In the meeting, cabinet members agreed that the Bowls Centre would be reopened with “a view to explore a future operating arrangement in partnership with the existing bowls club”.
Members also agreed that the Nova Centre should remain closed pending an agreement of the Alliance Leisure redevelopment proposals in May.
Alternative gym and fitness provisions are currently being made available in Prestatyn Leisure Centre and officers are in the process of exploring alternative public access swimming opportunities.