'The Reck' known as the former Craigavon Leisure Centre
A Craigavon man has started a petition to save ‘The Reck’ from being demolished and argues that the site has what it takes to be a hub to offer urban sports.
Ryan McGroder believes ‘The Reck’, which is commonly known as the former Craigavon Leisure Centre, should be transformed into ‘a recreational facility’ rather than being demolished.
The building, which is owned by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, closed - along with Cascades Leisure Complex and Waves Leisure Complex - in July last year following the completion of the South Lake Leisure Centre.
However, Ryan has launched an online petition to maintain the building to provide a unique urban sports centre.
Introducing his online petition, he said: “I have tried to convince our Council that this building is in the perfect location to have Craigavon’s first Urban Sports Centre with everything from BMX and skateboarding to DJing and spray painting.
“The Reck is the perfect place to have this kind of facility, the building is not only surrounded by six-plus schools and housing estates, but it also has a cycle path route that goes straight past The Reck making it the safest place to have such a building.
“I really feel that our Council should take another look at this building and transform it into a new type of recreation facility for the local area and the whole of Northern Ireland.
“This petition is a last ditch attempt to stop the demolition of Craigavon Leisure Centre and reuse the building to create an urban sports facility.”
A spokesperson for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council explained that the former leisure centres will now "become a key focus for regeneration, investment and development opportunities."
A statement read: “The future of the former Craigavon Leisure Centre, Cascades Leisure Complex and Waves Leisure Complex sites is a key focus for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
"As part of the transition to the new South Lake Leisure Centre, council agreed that these former leisure centres – which were at the end of their economic life – should be cleared and the sites made safe. Recognising the prominently and important location of each of the three sites they will now become a key focus for regeneration, investment and development opportunities, which could deliver transformative and sustainable benefits for each of the areas.
"Council will work with Elected Members, stakeholders and the wider community to ensure that all the options presented will act as a catalyst for wider investment, which prioritises job creation, the right social infrastructure to support communities, and, importantly, provides significant improvements in transport connectivity and sustainable transport options.”
You can choose to sign the petition HERE