COUNCILLORS HAVE AGREED to continue an experiment of extended opening hours for their sports and leisure facilities in Keith and Lossiemouth.
Both centres have enjoyed longer hours since a six-month experiment was launched in January – with members of the policy and resources committee being told that it had proven to be a success.
Around 4000 additional admissions to the centres has resulted – and that has prompted councillors to agree that the longer opening hours should continue at a cost of around £8500.
Both centres will remain open until 4pm on Saturday’s and Sunday’s with a further report on the impact of that coming before councillors in due course. The decision was welcomed by Keith and Cullen councillor Gary Coull, who said the response by the public to the longer opening hours was “absolutely fantastic”.
He said: “It is great to see it is going to continue – the public really have bought into it over the last six months and ultimately the aim would be to make the longer opening hours a permanent fixture.”
A spokesman for the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust praised the councillors for taking “the right decision”, saying: “The centre had been closing at 1pm on weekends before this and many in the town felt that was missing the best part of the week of people to use the facilities.
“Since our Trust was launched Sports and Leisure has been an area that quickly become clear to us was highly important to people in Lossiemouth. The Lossiemouth Sports Hub has been created under the umbrella of the Trust, and it has made fantastic progress in promoting sport for all ages in Lossiemouth.
“Maintaining the extension of opening hours was the right decision and we are delighted that councillors have saw fit to do so.”