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Council leader talks of "incredible" damage caused by leisure centre fire
THE leader of Selby District Council has spoken of the "incredible" damage caused by the devastating fire at the Abbey Leisure Centre.
Speaking at a council meeting tonight, Councillor Mark Crane told his colleagues the damage to the facility was significant, following a fire which burned for about four hours after it started near a first-floor sauna at about 6.30am.
Coun Crane said: “The damage is incredible. Parts of the roof have collapsed, the pool area is devastated and initial investigations indicate that there may be significant damage to the structure of the building. Such a fire at any time would be terrible, but coming, as this does, so soon after a £1million refit of the facilities is particularly galling.
“The full extent of the damage is yet to be determined and that will, of course, influence what we do next. What I can say, however, is that we are absolutely committed to providing leisure services. Indeed, earlier this afternoon, with fire crews still on site, we were already discussing options with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust. Our top priority must be to ensure that these services are provided for the thousands of members of the leisure centre.”
The council meeting was told Access Selby staff were already working with WLCT to speak to residents and members of the leisure centre, and information would follow within days about the impact on memberships.
Coun Crane said: “I’d like to express my profound thanks to all those who helped in dealing with the incident. Of course, my thanks for the professionalism and dedication of the fire officers who did everything they could to bring the fire under control and make the area safe.”
He also thanked staff from the centre, Selby Town Council, who set up a respite centre at the nearby Scott Road Community Centre, and the Salvation Army who were on site to offer refreshments to the fire crews.
Coun Crane also said: “This fire presents us with many challenges, both short-term and long-term, but I have confidence in the strength of partnership between the Council and WLCT, and I am sure that we can overcome these difficulties.”