‘Seasonal’ shifts behind dip in revenue at gym

Carrick Amphitheatre. INCT 07-043-tc
Carrick Amphitheatre. INCT 07-043-tc

The number of people using the gymnasium facility at Carrickfergus Amphitheatre fell last year, a report has revealed.

The figures were presented to local authority members at a meeting of the Development Services Committee earlier this month, with a drop in income also reported.

A figure of £34,847 was recorded for October 2013 period, down from £40,272 in the previous year.

The total number of people using the facility in the same period fell slightly to 8,056 from 8,500.

By contrast, the majority of the other council-run leisure facilities reported a boost in both usage figures and revenue, with overall income for the leisure centre rising to £27,777 from £21,979.

A summary of services at the Amphitheatre recorded a significant rise in booking for the Concordia Suite, with figures almost doubling from 667 to 1,276.

Recorded as having similar increases in usage figures were the swimming pool along with the tennis and squash courts.

The report indicated the synthetic pitch was also well-used, attributed to the re-opening of Barn Field in October 2012, although there was a slight dip in numbers using the grass pitches.

Commenting on the statistics, Mayor of Carrick Alderman Billy Ashe said: “Overall usage figures and income for Amphitheatre increased in October 2013 in comparison to the same period last year and this is to be welcomed.

“There was a slight decline in the usage figures for the gym although seasonal fluctuations are to be expected. Council continues to work hard at devising improved membership packages and promotions to encourage better utilisation of all of the facilities at Amphitheatre and we are optimistic that the figures will continue on an upward trend.”

Ald Ashe suggested that care must be taken to accommodate local groups wishing to hire council facilities.

He made the comments after the same report revealed that usage figures had fallen last year at Oakfield and Castleview Community Centres compared to 2012.

“What is happening is that if officers are using a venue for a meeting, it is taken out of the equation for the whole day, even if it is only being used for an hour or so,” he said.

Meanwhile, booking figures at Sunnylands, Woodburn and Greenisland Community Centre all saw an increase from 2012.

Bookings at the Civic Centre and Town Hall saw a marked increase from 821 to 2270.