North East Wales

Wrexham leisure centre back on track thanks to volunteer help

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Media captionCampaigner Darrell Wright said the range of services which could be offered at the centre were "endless"

Volunteers are hard at work to re-open a Wrexham leisure centre in time for Christmas.

Campaigners hoping to save Plas Madoc leisure centre say they are on course to have it open by December.

Now renamed Splash Magic, the leisure centre's future has been in doubt since April, when it was shut as part of a cost-cutting scheme.

Since then though, a £50,000 grant and a small army of volunteers has given the centre a new lease of life.

Wrexham council awarded the grant to the Splash Community Trust in October to extend the period which the trust had to reopen the centre until the end of November.

Campaigner Darrell Wright said all it needed was "some tender, loving care applied to it".

"It's always been fit for purpose but needed a fresh coat of paint."

Image caption Campaigners linked arms around the centre trying to keep it open at a protest earlier this year

Volunteers helping out with cleaning and restoration of the building include members of the local community as well as students from Coleg Cambria.

One student said the centre meant a lot to him because "we're in a deprived area anyway, and we've got nothing for our children".

"I used to use Plas Madoc leisure centre as a child and it would be a shame to see it shut down and wasted," he said.

When the centre does re-open in early December, it will have a small number of employed staff but will mostly rely on volunteers to keep it going.

Not that staffing will be the only obstacle, as controlling the facility's energy costs is seen by many as Splash Community Trust's biggest challenge.

While Wrexham Council has agreed to fund the heating of the pool initially, it will eventually become the responsibility of the trust to meet the cost.

The trust said it is looking at alternative energy as a means to achieve this.

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