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At-risk leisure centres get stay of execution after daily’s campaign

Closure-threatened leisure centres have been given a stay of execution following a regional daily’s campaign.

Gateshead Leisure Centre and Birtley Swimming Centre have been granted a three-month reprieve following a bid to save the facilities by Newcastle-based daily The Chronicle and its Chronicle Live sister website.

The Chronicle launched its ‘Save Our Leisure Centres’ campaign in December, sparking a total of 7,419 responses to a public consultation on the issue.

Gateshead Council has now announced the three-month moratorium on the plans to allow for more time for rescue talks that could save some services.

The Chronicle splashed on the update

The Chronicle splashed on the update on Wednesday

Chronicle editor Sophie Barley told HTFP: “We were really pleased to hear the council has pressed pause on these plans, to allow for more time to look at other options.

“We received many letters, messages, phone calls and emails from the public about their upset and devastation over the plans.

“There was such a strong community reaction – these are vital services which have served them for decades.

“We thought it was absolutely right to use our voice at Chronicle Live to launch a campaign to stand with the community and help save these leisure centres.

“We hope now that the further talks will result in an outcome where these much-loved services can continue.”