Forum may be demolished to allow for new leisure centre

THE FUTURE of the Lakeland Forum – and whether or not it will be refurbished or replaced with a new leisure centre – will be up for public discussion in the coming weeks.
The busy leisure centre in Enniskillen opened in 1976 and welcomes approximately 350,000 admissions each year but concerns have been raised about the ageing pool facilities, and the standard of the leisure complex.
The Council has revealed that it is currently seeking feedback from users on the future development of the Forum as it was identified as a facility which needs a ‘significant investment.’ 
Users are being urged to complete a survey about the facility which questions user’s opinion on the location of the centre, and the standard of the activities being offered including the gym and swimming pool.
 The survey also questions whether users believe it is fit for purpose, and what facilities and activities users would like to see added to the centre. 
Local Councillor Raymond Farrell believes is vital to have high standard leisure facilities in the County Town. 
“The Forum is lagging behind in terms of the standard of service I would like to see provided. I think it has served its purpose, but we need to move on with a service that is more user friendly, meets the needs of all the community and disability groups and improved equipment. 
“What concerns me is in terms of outdoor facilities and the pitches haven’t always been fit for purpose in terms of the weather. I think we need to look at that and invest.”
In 2012, Omagh Leisure Centre was closed for two years as part of a major £6.3 million refurbishment, and there are fears that a similar closure may be necessary at the Enniskillen facility.
Cllr Farrell added “unfortunately to make things better, we have to endure some short term pain. Hopefully it will not take too long, and we can look forward to what facilities we could potentially have. That may help us to be a bit more patient with things.”
An online questionnaire is available on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s website where people can provide feedback on the future development of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum or a series of drop in sessions on the draft strategy will take place across the District in February and March. 

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