Reprieve for leisure centre coffee bars at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Keighley Leisure Centre and Shipley Swimming Pool after MPs and city boxing legend Richard Dunn step in

UPSET: City boxing star Richard Dunn was disappointed to hear of the closure proposal

UPSET: City boxing star Richard Dunn was disappointed to hear of the closure proposal

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , T&A Reporter

Cafes at three Bradford Council leisure centres which were due to close down in the summer have been given a further reprieve until April.

A decision was initially taken in February, when the authority’s annual budget was being set, to save £40,000 a year by closing the cafes at three authority-run venues. These were Richard Dunn Sports Centre in Odsal, the Keighley Leisure Centre and Shipley Pool.

It was intended to shut them in June and install extra vending machines selling a wider variety of goods – hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches, salads and home baking.

After a campaign to save the Richard Dunn cafe by groups that use it and MPs, which also gained the backing of the boxing legend himself, the Council agreed to look at other options at all three loss-making cafes.

They were given three months to allow time for potential alternatives to be explored.

Now the Telegraph & Argus has learned that the three cafes are to be allowed to continue operating at their current reduced hours until April when a further assessment will be made.

One campaigner described how reduced opening hours had been implemented at Richard Dunn’s cafe to take account of the busier times at the centre, making the operation more efficient.

Roger Sheard, the Council’s commercial services manager, said: “The cafes at Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Keighley Leisure Centre and Shipley Swimming Pool, will continue to operate under the present opening hours for the time being.

“A further review of their operating performance will take place in April next year.”

In May the T&A reported how boxing legend Richard Dunn backed the campaign to save the cafe at the sports centre which bears his name.

He said he was disappointed to hear that the Council was to shut the cafe and that it would be a pity to close it down.

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