£1m investment planned for Kilkeel leisure centre

PLANNING permission has been approved for a £1 million upgrade to Kilkeel leisure centre, funded by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's capital programme.

Preliminary design work has been completed and the Council is now in the process of appointing an integrated design team to assist in advancing this project to the next stage of contractor procurement and appointment.

Council chair Michael Savage said: ‘‘These upgrade plans are part of the Council's strategic objective to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in the district and reduce health inequalities.

‘‘Many residents throughout our district are keen to prioritise their physical fitness and mental health, and it's important we provide appropriate facilities to help them to do this.

“This upgrade will provide people with a modern leisure facility with state-of-the-art gym equipment. It will also add to the range of incentives that attract visitors to the area, and I look forward to seeing the project come to fruition for residents and visitors to enjoy going forward.''

The work will include an extension to the gym, adding new equipment and machines, while a dedicated fitness class studio will also be incorporated into the designs.

Following recent upgrades to the reception area, the Council will invest further in the pool changing area to create additional family and disability changing rooms along with new lockers. The roof will also be fully repaired and the exterior modernised to better withstand coastal conditions.

The Council is currently undertaking a recruitment drive for the leisure centre. Additional staff are due to take up positions in September, and further positions will be advertised to fill the remaining posts.