HEALTH MATTERS: 1.5 million visits to West Dunbartonshire Leisure Centres

Ross Murdoch knows a good swimming pool when he sees one.
Image of Leisure Trust logo

By Democrat reporter

West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust (WDLT) has consistently met and exceeded its targets over the last three years.

The service has seen a 29% increase between 2016/17 and 2019/20 with more than 1.5million visits made to its three facilities in Dumbarton, Alexandria and Clydebank in the 12 months up to March 31, 2020.

The annual performance report, presented to the Council’s Corporate Services Committee, highlighted 40 new services introduced by the Trust in the past three years, which is 10% above target .

The Trust  reported a 53% increase in indoor sports and leisure activity and 30% increase in attendances at community facilities, with residents making more than 300,000 visits.

In addition, community groups including Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club and WD  Gymnastics Club were assisted to  secure external funding of more the £110,000.

The report also recognised the popularity of the area’s outdoor recreation pitches – which saw 74,000 visits by residents and non residents and a range of local events including last year’s Scottish Pipe Band Championship, Loch Lomond Highland Games  and 10k road race attracting 51,000 attendees.

The annual performance report detailed a £368,000 investment back into facilities and services by the Trust including the £30,000 refurbishment of the Vale Pool Spinning Studio with enhancements made to the space and equipment.

Councillors Dickson (left) and McLaren – “a very positive report”.

Councillor Ian Dickson said: “This is a very positive report and highlights the strong position the Trust was in at the turn of this year.  It is testament to the hard work of so many committed staff  to improving the health and wellbeing of every member of our communities from the youngest through to our elderly citizens. Those efforts have never been so important as they are now with Covid-19 and I look forward to being in a position where we can fully reopen all of the services once again.

Councillor Iain McLaren added: “West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, like others across the country, has not escaped the impacts of the pandemic, including a temporary closure of services. I am, however, pleased to see  this excellent report which shows minimal effects,  which is due to their hard work and diligence.   We know exercise is good not only for your physical health but also your mental health and it’s great to see over 1.5 million interactions between indoor and outdoor activities over the last year.”

Due to the unscheduled closure of all West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust Services in March this year, the service saw a decrease in the targeted  numbers for attendance at all three leisure centres, active schools and sports development.

During lockdown leisure staff provided online fitness sessions which  resulted in a significant increase in the number of people signing  up to the WDLT App, up  9,800 a 51% increase from last year. The WDLT App is being used by 39,000 customers every month and a newly added Instagram social media platform is currently  engaging almost 2,000 users.

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