Greenvale Leisure Centre is now back under operational control of Mid Ulster Council in a transfer that has been described as “smooth”.
The Magherafelt complex, which had been managed by Pulse Fitness since September 2012, reverted to the Council on Sunday, with close to 90 staff transferring across to the Council, after the handover.
It is understood that the Greenvale employees will transfer to the Council under TUPE regulation, and the additional financial cost will be approximately £400,000 each year.
Councillor Dominic Molloy, Chair of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, said: “The Council’s aim was to ensure a smooth transfer for both customers and staff, with no disruption to the facility and services on offer at Greenvale and I’m pleased that is what has happened.
“Greenvale is our largest and busiest centre, offering a wide range of leisure and fitness opportunities to a whole range of people from Magherafelt and the surrounding area.
“I’m delighted to welcome our new staff to the Mid Ulster leisure family, and look forward to working together with them to continue to offer quality leisure opportunities to existing and new customers”.
The decision to bring the operation of the leisure centre in-house supports the Council’s overall improvement agenda for leisure, harmonising service standards and pricing across all Mid Ulster facilities, as well as ultimately ensuring all staff working in Council leisure facilities will enjoy the same terms and conditions.
DUP Councillor Paul McLean, who was strongly opposed to the move, described it as “economically not viable.”
“It is understandable to upgrade a service to get a better service, but when you are paying out £400,000 to £500,000 a year to get the same service then it is not viable,” he claimed. “However it is in line with the socialistic thinking of this Council.”