'£1m investment' in Mid and East Antrim gyms

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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to replace cardio gym equipment at its three leisure centres.

An economic appraisal was approved behind closed doors at a meeting of the borough council’s Policy and Resources Committee last month.

According to minutes, this option was considered to be the “most cost effective way forward”.

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Councillors queried the cost of leasing, equipment for Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena, leisure centre membership fees and the cost of living crisis.

Larne Leisure CentreLarne Leisure Centre
Larne Leisure Centre

They were advised a five-year maintenance programme will be included in the tender.

It was proposed by Knockagh DUP Councillor Peter Johnston and seconded by party colleague Braid Cllr William McCaughey the council proceeds with the replacement of gym equipment in the borough’s three leisure centres.

Commenting online this week, Cllr Johnston said: “After supporting this at the various workshops and finally by proposing the business case at committee, I am very pleased to announce a £1m investment to replace the three gyms across Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballymena.

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“These new state-of-the art gyms will utilise all the latest technology and trends in gym equipment, machines and free weights. Health and wellbeing are a priority of council and it is important that we ensure our services are constantly improving to benefit the community.

New Equipment

“I will continue to support our very competitive membership packages which I backed at the same committee at the start of this mandate. Thank you for all those who had contacted me about our gym facilities and I look forward to seeing the new equipment in place before March 2023.”

In July 2020, Mid and East Antrim councillors approved the mix of facilities for the proposed new £25 million leisure centre in Ballymena which will be located in the former St Patrick’s Barracks site.

Councillors agreed the centre would include a 25-metre swimming pool, a toddler pool, a learner pool and a main hall, kids’ facilities, a café, a gym, a spin studio, multi-purpose studio, specialist studio and a spa.

The development plan includes all the facilities that were identified during a consultation process carried out the previous year.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter