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Council to cut Christmas leisure centre hours because of ‘poor attendance’

Opening hours will be cut at some Nottinghamshire leisure centres at Christmas following previously “poor income and attendance”.

Gedling Borough Council says the move will allow staff to take annual leave during the festive days and will address previously “unpopular” opening times.

The changes will see Arnold, Calverton, Carlton Forum and Redhill centres working on reduced times but still offering full services when open.

Leisure centres had previously opened later into the evening between December 27-30 but this will be stopped due to low usage in past years.

Arnold and Carlton Forum will instead close at 3pm on these days, with Calverton and Redhill opening until 4pm.

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The authority says opening Carlton Forum between 7am and 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve has “proved successful” in recent years.

This will continue during the coming festive period.

Arnold, Calverton and Redhill will close on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Regular opening hours will be enforced on December 23 and January 2 for all centres except Arnold, which will open from 7am to 8pm on December 23.

The Richard Herrod Centre, in Carlton, will also be open as normal on December 23 and January 2.

It will open between 10am and 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, with the bar to close at 11pm.

It will then open between 10am and 7pm from December 27 to December 30, with the bar to shut at 6.30pm.

It will close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, with a 10am to 1am opening time on New Year’s Eve.

The Bonington, in Arnold, will also open as normal on December 23 and close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

On Christmas Eve, the popular theatre will be open from 11am until 5.30pm, with 12.30pm until 7pm opening times on December 27.

It will open at 12.30pm on December 28 and December 30, closing at 10pm on both days.

On December 29 it will be open between 9.30am and 10pm.

The opening times were approved by Councillor Henry Wheeler, portfolio holder for lifestyles, health and wellbeing, on Monday (November 21).

Andy Fretwell, the council’s leisure manager, said in a report: “Reports have shown relatively poor income and attendance over the [festive] period.

“Most regular and block booking customers do not attend.

“Generally usage is low which is why leisure centres reduce their normal opening hours around the bank holidays.

“By operating a reduced service over this period it allows staff to take
annual leave where required, without providing full replacement cover.

“It, therefore, seems sensible in both operational and business terms to reduce the opening hours.

“The council could do nothing and continue to open the leisure facilities with the normal operating hours.

“This option would mean a waste of resources in terms of heating, lighting and staffing of the facilities for extremely low levels of customer use.”

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