Barracks site ‘ideal for new leisure centre’

The Seven Towers Leisure Centre. INBT Archive picture

The Seven Towers Leisure Centre. INBT Archive picture

A DUP assemblyman who recently described the Seven Towers Leisure Centre as ‘no longer fit for purpose’ says Ballymena deserves a ‘new build complex’.

Paul Frew says Mid and East Antrim Council should take advantage of a window of opportunity and build for the future.

He said: “I have spoken with the council’s Chief Executive Anne Donaghy on this issue and I know that one of the options they are contemplating is a new build.

“A great opportunity has arisen with the land availability at the old St Patrick’s barracks and a new leisure centre at that site would be ideal,” he said.

Mr. Frew acknowledged that a new road network in the vicinitywould be required to open up the site but he was adamant that the potential is ‘enormous’.

He added: “Council could deliver a brand new state of the art sports and wellbeing complex which could cater for young and old. It could incorporate an athletics track to replace what was an inadequate gravel track at Ballee. Many of our athletes have to travel to Antrim Forum to take part in training. Talking to some of them they say it is near impossible finding surfaces which would be useful for training purposes in Ballymena.

“Council could inspire athletes from every discipline with such a track provision. The site could also incorporate the skateboard park which has been a long established aim for Council.”