Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley was joined this week by Fife Sport and Leisure Trust Chief Operating Officer Wendy Watson and Fife Council Executive member Cllr Mark Hood on a visit to Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre following from the closure of the centre for upgrade works in excess of half a million pounds.
Mr Rowley was told that the largest investment had been a £500,000 replacement of the heating and ventilation systems within the centre and that some £70,000 had been spent on general improvements to the décor and floors whilst the complete replacement of the spinning bikes had been carried out at a cost of £23,325.
Speaking after the visit Alex Rowley said; “It is important that this well used facility is kept up to date with modern equipment and systems but the most impressive thing about the centre is the enthusiasm of the staff to engage local people in sport and leisure. There is a whole range of different activities and classes available and the work that the Trust is doing in partnership with the Council and local nurseries, community groups and schools out in local communities is very impressive.
The MSP also highlighted the success of the ‘quid a kid’ weekend access and free summer swimming saying that the Cowdenbeath Centre saw the largest increase in school children accessing swimming of any area in Fife last year. He said; “The re-introduction of the free summer swimming for all school pupils was a massive success and I am delighted it is to continue this summer. We cannot under estimate the importance of access to sport and leisure for the health and wellbeing of all children and the work going on in the Cowdenbeath area is first class”.
Mark Hood confirmed that in addition to the Fife Council investment of £556,000 into the centre, the Sport and Leisure Trust had also invested £30,509 in replacing the bikes and gym equipment. He said; “This investment is money well spent and I have now asked the Trust to look at more organised activities for young people on Friday evening as in other leisure centres we have seen organised youth nights become a big success with young people. Bringing back the free summer swimming and introducing the ‘quid a kid’ access to swimming and dry sports at other times has proven to be a big success and the figures for use shows this is money well spent. That is why despite the financial difficulties we have continued these policies and why we are continuing to invest more money in sport and leisure in the Cowdenbeath area”.
Picture shows Wendy Watson, Mark Hood and Alex Rowley viewing the new equipment