SHANNON Swimming and Lei- sure Centre looks set to make losses for the third year running, prompt- ing a centre director to call on the Government to match local author- ity funding for the facility.
Accounts filed to the companies office by the centre show that the facility has made losses in 2003 and 2004. Company director, Cllr Patricia McCarthy (Ind), confirmed that the centre is on course to make a loss again this year.
She said, “Government should match the €55,000 that the council contributed to the centre last year. This would allow us plan ahead. The Government talks a lot about the need for a healthy lifestyle, but it needs to back that up by support- ing centres such as the Shannon je.Nos 0 BUR VA
The accounts recently filed with the Companies Office show that to the end of October, 2004, the centre made a loss of €47,000 and this fol- lowed a loss of €33,000 sustained in 2003. At the end of October 2004, the centre had an accumulat- ed loss of €60,624. However, this is much smaller when compared to the €469,000 accumulated loss at Lahinch Seaworld.
Last year, the centre had a turno- ver of €461,000 with a wage bill of €243,000. Cllr McCarthy said this week, “The centre has been through several bad patches since it opened in 1973 and has closed down on a number of occasions.
She said, “By the mid-1980s, it was decided to treat the centre as a business and the leisure centre was added and opened by President Mary Robinson in 1994.”
Cllr McCarthy said that the earn- ings from the pool and leisure cen- tre supplemented each other.
“The centre provides a vital serv- ice and is essential for the com- munity, employing 11 full-time employees.
“We run a very tight ship and we stay sharp and focused. The centre is willing to try any activity once. For example, it has the only climb- ing wall in the region.
“The increasing cost of oil and heating 1s not making it easy, but the Board — whose work is volun- tary — are very diligent. I would like to see more people using the centre. The centre itself is a total non-profit facility.”
Cllr McCarthy said that, without the annual contribution from the County Council, the financial situ- ation would be worse. The centre last made a profit in 2002.