Mariner Centre to close

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A popular sports centre is to close for six weeks to allow construction of a new soft play facility.

The sports hall at the Mariner Centre was shut in January to make way for the children’s play area.

But now Falkirk Community Trust has announced that the entire centre will close from Monday, April 23.

It is not expected to re-open again until June 4.

However, leisure bosses say it will allow contractors to deliver more quickly an improved centre for customers.

A trust spokeswoman said that it had only recently been advised of the contractor Hadden Construction’s request to close the facility in its entirety.

She added: “This is due to the complexities involved in the adjustments required to the mechanical and electrical plant, as well as the relocation of the whole reception area to its new location downstairs.”

The new facility – to be known as The Great Mariner Reef – will have a soft play area for children up to 12 years which will look on to the pool.

Other planned improvements to the building include a new reception area, café, seating area and improved disabled changing facilities.

As well as creating new jobs, the trust said it aims to attract more visitors to the area.

Neil Brown, general manager at Falkirk Community Trust said: “We are developing some really fantastic changes at the Mariner Centre to increase footfall and deliver an enhanced experience for our visitors. Current on-going plans for The Great Mariner Reef are really exciting and we look forward to unveiling them to the public soon.

“We are also very proud, alongside the Adult Social Care Services team at Falkirk Council, to be able to offer a new changing places facility.

“We hope visitors will understand that the temporary closure is a necessary and small disruption in order to be able to offer these fantastic facilities later this year. ”

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council said: “The new facilities will really benefit The Mariner Centre and will encourage many new users to enjoy both the new soft play and offer much improved changing areas to those with disabilities.

“We know that there will be some disruption while these improvements are carried out but we are sure visitors will appreciate the longer term benefits for everyone.”