More than 50 staff at leisure centre at risk

The Nene Centre in Thrapston

The Nene Centre in Thrapston

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More than 50 staff are at risk of losing their jobs because of a nine-month project to improve a leisure centre.

The Telegraph revealed yesterday East Northamptonshire Council will spend £2m on remedial works and improvements to the Nene Centre in Thrapston and the Pemberton Centre in Rushden over the next 12 months.

The work at the Nene Centre, which is run by leisure trust Cultural Community Partnerships (CCP) on behalf of the authority, will mean the facility will have to close for up to nine months from September.

A spokesman for East Northamptonshire Council said: “Staff have already been informed by letter of the expected closure and that their posts may be at risk due to the length of closure needed to do the work.

“Over 50 staff are at risk. Redundancies are unfortunate but once the work is complete and the centre re-opens, CCP will be re-recruiting to those jobs.

“If the improvements encourage more people to use the centre, then more staff will be needed.”

The council said the improvements will result in a revamp of services at both centres, with the ultimate aim of making them more attractive to customers as part of a business plan to increase income.

Money has also been set aside to replace the roof at the Nene Centre, following a series of problems of leaking and other issues over the years. A report from roof specialists has advised complete replacement as the most cost effective option.

The council intends to recover the cost of the replacement through legal proceedings.

The revamp work at the Pemberton Centre can be done with most of the centre remaining open.

Customers will be notified in advance of the exact date of closure and kept informed throughout the work.