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Kids miss out with closures; LEISURE: Children's facilities hit by the crunch.

Byline: By Helen Thomas

A CRECHE and a children's play area could be closed at Coventry's main leisure centre because of the recession.

Bosses say falling numbers and the credit crunch have combined to make child minder services at Coventry Sports Centre in Fairfax Street, city centre "unviable".

The Jungle Junction kids play area, which can be hired for children's parties - could also go.

A second creche - based at Foleshill leisure centre - may also close.

Coventry Sports Trust, which runs both sites, has started negotiations with staff and warns of a "possible" six redundancies.

Hugh Davies, chief executive of Coventry Sports Trust, said a dwindling clientele and the economic downturn had hit trade hard.

He said: "Coventry Sports Trust is currently considering the closure of the creche and Jungle Junction areas at Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre and Foleshill Sports and Leisure Centre.

"These proposed closures are due to the current economic downturn and a reduction in funding.

"The usage of both the creche and Jungle Junction has continued on a downward trend over a number of years and the continued operation of these services is no longer financially viable.

"Senior managers have started negotiations with members of staff who would be affected by any closures as there is a possibility of some posts being made redundant.

"The trust regrets that it has to consider such actions and will, where possible, identify alternative employment for these employees."

He said child care facilities would continue to be provided at Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre, in Wood End, when its new creche opens soon.

Gym user Amy Greenway, 23, of Vicarage Lane, Ash Green, regularly visits Coventry Sports Centre with her 18-month-old son Brody.

She said: "I'm really annoyed and upset about it.

"Brody's got his own little friends there and all the staff are really nice.

"The leader has been there since it opened 23 years ago, it's a real kick in the face for her.

"This has come out of the blue."

She added the creche was ideal because gym users could leave their children there for 90 minutes Monday to Friday.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 19, 2009
Words:353
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