Fife sports and leisure venues and opening times safe from cuts

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Fife Sport and Leisure Trust has said venues and opening hours across the Kingdom are safe from cuts this year.

At a time when many other local authorities are threatening to close leisure venues or cut opening hours, Fife Sport and Leisure Trust (FSLT) has confirmed that Kingdom services will be safe for another year.

“We are not expecting any significant cuts or alterations to opening hours for 2024,” said Jennifer Shields, the trust'ss PR and communications lead officer.

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“The reinstated hours will remain unchanged all except for Cowdenbeath which is going to temporarily close for refurbishment in April.”

Jennifer Shields and Sharron McCormick gave the update this week (Pics: Submitted)Jennifer Shields and Sharron McCormick gave the update this week (Pics: Submitted)
Jennifer Shields and Sharron McCormick gave the update this week (Pics: Submitted)

Fife Sport and Leisure Trust operates and manages 14 sport and leisure facilities across the Kingdom on behalf of Fife Council.

Until recently, there was some uncertainty around whether or not operating hours would continue throughout the year.

Immediately after the pandemic when restrictions were lifted, the Trust ran into financial difficulties and was forced to reduce operating hours. They were only reinstated in August on a trial basis thanks to funding from the local authority.

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“The funding for this reinstatement of the opening hours is only in place until March 31 ,” a report to Fife’s South West Area Committee in December explained.

However, the Trust has now confirmed that the hours are here to stay throughout this year.

“The positive news is that the hours that have been reinstated are going to stay in place for 2024,” said Sharron McCormick, marketing, communications and sales manager for FSLT.

“Across Scotland you’re seeing a lot of venues that are closing or cutting hours - we haven’t done any of that. We’re actually out here promoting things, like a new membership scheme, which is really different.”

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She continued: “It’s really important to recognise that things are always up to review, but we’re going out with a positive message for 2024.”

The Trust has given the credit for both the Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre refurbishment and the reinstated opening hours to Fife Council.

“It’s all thanks to the support we receive from them,” Ms Shields said. “We have a very strong relationship with the council who really recognises the value of our services and our goal to grow within our communities.”

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