The opening times of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s leisure facilities over the Queen’s Jubilee extended bank holiday weekend have been agreed.
The issue came before members of council’s leisure and community services committee at its meeting on Monday, April 11.
Members of the committee were told public holiday closures up to December 31, 2023 had been agreed by the committee in September 2018.
However, the arrangements for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations – to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne – were not in place at that point.
This year, the late May bank holiday weekend has been moved to Thursday, June 2 and an additional bank holiday on Friday, June 3 has been added to annual leave calendars.
With these holidays now confirmed, members were told indoor leisure will operate the Tier 1 centres (with pools) until 7pm in order to facilitate swimming lessons.
This means that Banbridge Leisure Centre, Orchard Leisure Centre and South Lake Leisure Centre will operate from 9am – 7pm on both June 2 and June 3 with normal operating hours to resume on Saturday, June 4.
Tier two leisure centres will operate from 9am – 5pm on both June 2 and June 3 and as normal from June 4.
As for the council’s outdoor leisure facilities, operating hours will vary by site.
The office at Gosford Forest Park will be closed on June 2 and 3 but the site will open from 8am-9pm on both dates.
Loughgall County Park will open from 9am to 9.30pm on Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3 and Craigavon Golf and Ski Centre will open from 9am – 9pm on those dates as well.
The officer at Kinnego Marina will open from 9am – 8pm; Oxford Island will open from 8am – 9pm; Lough Neagh Discovery Centre will open from 10am – 6pm; Tannaghmore Farm will open from 10am to 8:30pm and the council’s public parks will open from 7am to 10pm.
All of the above outdoor locations will return to normal operating hours from Saturday, June 4.
Members of the committee were advised that employees working on public holidays receive enhanced pay and/or time in lieu and that extending these hours of operation would incur additional costs.
A proposal to accept the officers’ recommendation to approve the opening hours as listed was put forward by Councillor Margaret Tinsley and seconded by Councillor Darryn Causby.
The committee then voiced its support for the proposal.