Black country

Walsall leisure fund expected to be cut, council says

A school party takes part in mountaineering at Bryntysilio
Image caption School groups have been visiting Bryntysilio since 1968

Funds for a Black Country leisure centre and outward bound school trips may be cut, Walsall Council said.

Council officers have recommended the closure of Willenhall Leisure Centre in Bath Street and Bryntysilio residential activity centre in north Wales.

The outdoor activity centre, which the council leases, costs tax payers about £500,000 per year and the leisure centre it runs costs £456,700 per year.

Cabinet members are expected to approve the money saving plans on Wednesday.

Mike Bird, leader of Walsall Council, said despite the council investing in the activity centre near Llangollen, it had failed to attract any more school customers.

"Our message on the future of outdoor education at Bryntysilio has been 'use it or lose it', but this message hasn't been heeded," he added.

The council has had a partnership with the trustees of Bryntysilio dating back to the 1960s, but is now proposing to use an activity centre closer to Walsall to help save money.

It said the leisure centre made a loss of about £277,000 per year and attendance had decreased by 20% since April.

Anthony Harris, Walsall cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "This has by no means been an easy decision.

"But frankly, we can't afford to keep it open. We're in a difficult financial position and tough decisions have to be made."

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