Darlington Borough Council to improve Dolphin Centre gym

A COUNCIL is to carry out an expensive public gym refurbishment despite having to make large budget cuts.

Darlington Borough Council is expected to spend thousands of pounds upgrading the gym at the Dolphin Centre, in Horsemarket, to provide new equipment and extended floor space.

The work will see a full decoration of walls, ceilings and lighting, with new entertainment systems fitted throughout the gym.

The improvements come as the council looks to save about £5m in the next two years and at least £11m during 2015 and 2016, and follow a report recommending the closure of Kids and Co children’s services in Borough Road and Northwood, which are operating at an annual loss of £212,000.

However, despite the financial worries, Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said the changes were needed to ensure the successful future of the Dolphin Centre.

He said: “If we do not manage and refresh the Dolphin Centre, people will stop using it, the numbers will drop to an unacceptable level and we will have major income problems.

“We have to keep on top of it, and we vowed from the day it was built that it would never look shabby.

“If we weren’t constantly refurbishing the centre, it could start to signal the death knell for it, and we won’t let that happen.”

Coun Dixon said he fully sympathised with parents’ concerns over the potential removal of Kids and Co, but said the authority had to prioritise services due to budget restrictions.

Last month, Coun Dixon warned services in Darlington would be hit after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles cut town halls' spending powers.

He said: “These are huge amounts that will have to be cut, and they will hurt hard-working families.

“There will be massive hits to services that we are currently running, some will not be able to survive and it might mean that some jobs are delayed or do not get done.

“These are small percentages, but they equal big pennies, and this is going to be a hugely difficult time for everyone.”

Comments (4)

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7:37pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Gamechanger says...

The council must market the dolphin centre to appeal to as many people as possible then expensive refurbishments wont be money down the drain.

Maybe it could be an alternative base for kids and co?
The council must market the dolphin centre to appeal to as many people as possible then expensive refurbishments wont be money down the drain. Maybe it could be an alternative base for kids and co? Gamechanger

6:34pm Tue 8 Jan 13

laughingboy51 says...

amazing, where there is money to be made there is money available.........nu
rseries for kids are not that important then. Also Councillor Dixon is all for saving DOE jobs whilst cutting back on DBC employees
amazing, where there is money to be made there is money available.........nu rseries for kids are not that important then. Also Councillor Dixon is all for saving DOE jobs whilst cutting back on DBC employees laughingboy51

3:38pm Wed 9 Jan 13

noctu says...

Gym only membership for the Dolphin Centre: £22 / month

Gym membership for Lifestyle Fitness (Eastmount Road), larger, more equipment, sauna: £17.99 / month with free parking

I know which one I'll be choosing!
Gym only membership for the Dolphin Centre: £22 / month Gym membership for Lifestyle Fitness (Eastmount Road), larger, more equipment, sauna: £17.99 / month with free parking I know which one I'll be choosing! noctu

4:17pm Wed 9 Jan 13

laughingboy51 says...

noctu wrote:
Gym only membership for the Dolphin Centre: £22 / month

Gym membership for Lifestyle Fitness (Eastmount Road), larger, more equipment, sauna: £17.99 / month with free parking

I know which one I'll be choosing!
Exactly.............
........
[quote][p][bold]noctu[/bold] wrote: Gym only membership for the Dolphin Centre: £22 / month Gym membership for Lifestyle Fitness (Eastmount Road), larger, more equipment, sauna: £17.99 / month with free parking I know which one I'll be choosing![/p][/quote]Exactly............. ........ laughingboy51

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