Three Kirklees leisure centres are earmarked for permanent closure – however all but two remain at risk.

The three set for closure are: Colne Valley Leisure Centre in Slaithwaite; Dewsbury Sports Centre; and Batley Sports & Tennis Centre.

Huddersfield Leisure Centre and Spen Valley Leisure Centre in Cleckheaton are the only ones completely safe.

Crisis-hit Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) has been forced to review its operations after being hit by spiralling costs.

KAL was only rescued this year by a £6.1 million bail-out from Kirklees Council but now the local authority itself is facing financial meltdown, needing to find £47.8 million in savings to stave off bankruptcy.

The council has told KAL it will receive no more than £2.55 million next year and set up the Leisure Centre Review Board to look at how it can keep open as many leisure centres as possible.

KAL runs Huddersfield Leisure Centre at Springwood; Colne Valley Leisure Centre; Holmfirth Pool and Fitness Centre; Stadium Health & Fitness Club at the John Smith’s Stadium; Scissett Baths & Fitness Centre; Dewsbury Sports Centre; Batley Sports & Tennis Centre at Howden Clough; Spen Valley Leisure Centre; and Deighton Sports Arena.

KAL also operates Leeds Road Sports Complex and playing fields and Bradley Park Golf Course.

KAL announced in an email to members that all centres apart from Huddersfield Leisure Centre and Spen Valley Leisure Centre are at risk of closure.

Deighton Sports Arena currently operates reduced hours and last week there was a public meeting to discuss the possibility of an asset transfer to hand over the operation to a community group.

Batley Baths & Recreation Centre has already shut down and Dewsbury Sports Centre is currently closed for an indefinite period after suspected Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) was found in the building.

KAL’s finances have taken a battering due to rising energy costs which have seen bills rise from £1 million pre-pandemic to £4 million this year. Staffing costs have also gone up massively as a result of an increase in the National Living Wage and inflation has seen a big jump in the cost of supplies and services.

KAL says these “uncontrollable” costs simply can’t be matched by price increases and growth in revenue.

At the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday September 26 councillors will be asked to agree to the launch of six-week public consultation on which sites should remain and which must close.

The report says only the modern and recently-built Huddersfield and Spen Valley centres are safe. It says Colne Valley, Dewsbury and Batley Sports & Tennis Centre require “significant” investment.

The Stadium Health and Fitness Club is likely to remain open in the short term due to “complex lease issues” though that site also requires significant investment over the next three years.

Holmfirth Pool and Leeds Road playing fields need little financial support while Bradley Park Golf Club makes a profit so they should escape the axe. The future of Scissett Baths depends on a funding bid to Sport England.

The stark position was laid out to members in an email from KAL.

The email says: “The council’s consultation process will be based on no changes to Huddersfield Leisure Centre and Spen Valley Leisure Centre, with all other KAL facilities being at risk.

“The public consultation will be launched by the council shortly. It is extremely important that KAL customers provide their views to ensure these are considered when final decisions are made later in 2023.

“As soon as information regarding how to contribute to the consultation is available this will be provided to KAL’s customers.

“KAL would like to thank all our customers. We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from you over recent years.

“It is important to reiterate that until final decisions are made all KAL facilities currently open will remain open and all memberships and sessions will continue as normal unless customers are advised otherwise.”

Clr Graham Turner, the council’s Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, said: “Where many councils have closed pools and sports centres gradually over many years, we have remained committed to protecting leisure services as much as possible. This has also included major investment in new centres for both North and South Kirklees in recent years.

“However, the economic situation facing the UK is having a significant impact on everyone including local councils. Government funding has failed to plug the gap created by the long-term impacts of austerity, Covid and increased energy prices.

“This means more of council budgets are being absorbed by statutory [legally required] and other essential frontline services. This has left us having to make very difficult decisions on the ongoing provision of other services, such as sport and leisure.

“I am asking Cabinet permission to consult on the proposals, so that we can understand the impact they will have on local people.

“The information gathered will be used alongside the economic, environmental, social and legal information available to the council to draft a report for a final decision at the Cabinet meeting in December.”