A LETTER has been delivered to East Lothian Council by a campaign group calling for upgrades to the Aubigny Sports Centre.

Fears have been raised that the Haddington sports centre, which opened in 1974, will be unable to cope with the town’s ongoing housing boom.

More than 195,000 people visited the facility, on Mill Wynd, last year and that figure is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

Campaign to Upgrade the Aubigny Sports Centre was formed earlier this year with a view to seeing the facilities enhanced or even looking at the possibility of an entirely new sports centre being built.

Now, after recording the views of members of the public on the sports centre, a letter has been delivered to John Muir House outlining their findings.

Fiona Bain, who has lived in the town for more than a decade, started the campaign.

She said: “It is small wonder that the Aubigny is showing the strain.

“Originally built in 1974 when Haddington’s population was around 6,500, it has not been extended since 1991 when the population stood at just under 9,000.

“With the current building boom the population is likely to grow to at least double that original figure – 13,000, or even closer to 15,000.

“Demand for the centre is massive: almost 200,000 people came through the doors in the last 12 months, so that’s 3,800 visitors every week.”

The survey found that a large number of people felt there was a need for “modernisation and expansion or replacement of the whole centre to improve the health and wellbeing of the growing local population”.

Similarly, there were calls for greater evening access to the swimming pool and fitness classes, as well as a need for an expanded gym.

Outside the building, it was noted that there was not enough parking at peak times and it was feared this would only get worse as the town’s population increased.

The letter calls on the council to: “Make a concrete commitment to upgrading the Aubigny Centre to allow it to cope with increasing demand (visitor numbers up 35,000 over the last four years), ideally in such a way as to take advantage of the natural beauty of the riverside location.

“Publish a binding proposal and timetable for this work to start – the current floated date of 2020 is much too late.

“Many new families are already moving into the homes, with many more close to completion: eg Dovecot, west of Aberlady Road and west of Gateside Road. This is in addition to the relatively recent large developments of family homes at Alderston Gardens, Nungate Gardens and the Maltings.”

A spokesman for East Lothian Council and enjoyleisure, which operates the centre on the council’s behalf, acknowledged the population of the town was growing and that the council was operating in “a challenging financial climate”.

He said: “The Aubigny Sports Centre is a fantastic asset for the community with an exceptional enjoyleisure staffing team.

“While councils operate in a challenging financial climate, Haddington is a growing community. We want to continue to meet demand for high-quality facilities and look at what improvements might be necessary.

“That’s why we have secured funding contributions from developers who are building or will be building homes in the area, and are working with enjoyleisure to identify options for future investment. We look forward to engaging with users of the centre and the community in due course.”