Athersley Leisure Centre, Penistone Leisure Centre and Wombwell Swimming Baths will close next week, We Are Barnsley can reveal.

The decision-making cabinet discussed a request from Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL) to close three of its leisure centres at a meeting this morning.

BPL operates the facilities on behalf of the council and - in its new business plan - identified that the three centres were no longer viable to operate. They will close on May 31 and discussions are still ongoing as to what will happen to the buildings.

Coun Tim Cheetham, Cabinet spokesman, said: “Any decision to close a leisure facility is never taken lightly. Sadly, given the UK's well publicised financial climate and the immense pressures on the budgets of council’s and charitable organisations such as BPL, such difficult decisions become unavoidable.”

Athersley Leisure Centre is already closed to the public on Health and Safety grounds and BPL has taken action to secure the building to prevent access. The centre opened in 1984 with a planned 10 year lifespan. BPL and the council have worked hard to keep the facility operational for the last 27 years.

At Penistone Leisure Centre, daytime use during weekdays has been consistently low and was running at a loss. It was estimated that Wombwell Swimming Pool would have cost over £700,000 within the next five years to maintain it at current levels.

Did you see the WAB video report on Wombwell Swimming Bath's campaign from residents? It can be seen here