Fears Waterworld in Portrush may close next month

Waterworld Portrush
Waterworld Portrush

Waterworld in Portrush could close after the Easter holidays, it has emerged.

Tonight (Tuesday), members of Causeway Coast and Glens Council’s Leisure and Development Committee will decide on the future of the centre, which first opened in 1986.

Last month, Council agreed to put the Dunluce Centre, another Council owned tourist facility in Portrush, on the open market.

Falling visitor numbers and the need for repairs to the Harbour based complex, has led Council officials to consider the future of the centre, which also includes a ten pin bowling facility.

A confidential Council report which has been leaked to The Coleraine Times, reveals that the centre costs Council in the region of £43,000 for the eleven weeks it is open each year.

The complex, which once included a health suite and jacuzzi pools, was reduced to a seasonal facility in 2009, meaning it is currently only open over Easter week and from mid June to August.

If members agree on the recommendation to close Waterworld, it would be open over the Easter holidays for the last time.

However if the centre is closed, water slides at Coleraine Leisure Centre would be reopened, to ensure the area has a wet play option.

The slides at Coleraine Leisure Centre were closed back in 2010, as a cost saving measure by Coleraine Borough Council.

The confidential report given to members of Council’s Leisure and Development Committee, states that the closure of the slides at Coleraine Leisure Centre cost Council around £30,000 per year in lost income. It’s thought that reinstating the slides would help boost visitor numbers at the Railway Road facility.

The report also outlines a dramatic drop in visitor numbers to Waterworld.

At its peak, the wet play centre attracted around 100,000 visitors per season.

Last year, there were just over 36,000 visitors.

If members agree on the closure, the next step would see council officers setting out a closure plan for the centre and disposal of any associated assets.