What does future hold for St Andrews leisure centre?

THERE are fears in St Andrews over the long-term future of the East Sands Leisure Centre in the town.

Last year, Fife Council announced a 50m refurbishment programme for facilities in central and west Fife.

When the suggestion was first flagged up, however, local councillors called for assurances that leisure centres in smaller towns like St Andrews, Cupar and Leven would not lose out over the plans for Carnegie Leisure Centre in Dunfermline; Fife Sports Institute in Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool.

Concerns for the prominent St Andrews facility, which opened in 1988 and is situated on a prime coastal site, resurfaced over the festive period when the swimming pool closed for a three-month facelift.

People involved in the leisure industry locally have also spoken of rumours over the future of the centre.

St Andrews University is keen to build a huge new state-of-the-art sports complex in the town, and with well-documented suggestions that swapping land with the council could solve the long-awaited single-site Madras College stand-off, the East Sands Centre's future is seen by some to be in question.

The centre was closed until yesterday (Thursday) as work went on in the fitness room and squash courts.

The swimming pool is also undergoing refurbishment, seen as positive signs for its future by St Andrews councillor Bill Sangster, who chairs the East Sands Leisure Centre Liaison Group.

Read more in this week's Citizen