Opening hours changing to help West Lothian Leisure save £2.6m a year

West Lothian Leisure has announced a restructuring exercise that will affect many of its facilities and staff as it seeks to save £2.6m a year by 2022.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 10:54 am
Xcite Linlithgow will close two hours earlier at weekends when the service changes are implemented in September
Xcite Linlithgow will close two hours earlier at weekends when the service changes are implemented in September

The restructure is part of a three-year business plan to respond to increasing employment and operational costs, together with cuts to funding.

A six-week formal consultation was completed on June 30, and West Lothian Leisure continues to consult with affected staff.

Two key restructuring activities have been identified which will help to achieve the required savings.

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The first is changes to the opening hours across nine sites that will be implemented on September 2, to reflect when the cost of opening exceeds the income generated.

For example, West Lothian Leisure states that at Xcite Linlithgow the number of visitors affected by the early closure on a Saturday represents around 1.5 per cent of the total visits made on that day.

The revised open hours are as follows:

Xcite Armadale – opening time moving from 7.30am to 8.30am, weekdays;

Xcite Bathgate – closing time on Sunday moving from 9pm to 8pm;

Xcite Broxburn Pool – closing time on Friday moving to from 9.30pm to 8pm;

Xcite Broxburn Centre – weekday closing moving from 10pm to 9pm; from 6pm to 4pm on Saturdays and 9pm to 6pm on Sundays;

Xcite Craigswood – closing time on Saturdays moving from 6pm to 5pm, and Sundays 9pm to 8pm;

Xcite East Calder – weekday closing moving from 10pm to 9pm; and 5pm to 4.30pm (Saturday), 5pm to 3.30pm (Sunday);

Xcite Linlithgow – closing times changing from 10pm to 8pm (Friday), 8pm to 6pm (Saturday) and 10pm to 8pm (Sunday);

Xcite Livingston – weekday closing time changing from 9.30pm to 9pm and 8pm to 5pm on Sunday;

Xcite Whitburn – closing time for the pool only on Tuesdays and Thursdays moving from 9.30pm to 8.30pm.

The second restructuring activity on September 2 will see a combined number of 14 voluntary redundancies and voluntary early retirements.

Changes at further sites will be implemented before the end of the year, with staff hours overhauled to suit new timetables; and there will also be further staff reductions.

Chief executive Robin Strang said: “Whilst we knew what savings we had to make, we went into the formal consultation exercise with an open mind, and conducted wide-ranging discussions around all the options with our staff team.

“We hoped that we would be able to minimise job losses, and while we are still reducing staff numbers, we hope to significantly reduce, or indeed eliminate, the need for compulsory redundancy.

“By adjusting opening hours and amending rotas, we have been able to take back wasted hours – where we have been fully staffed, but services are being used very little.”