SPORTS facilities are on the way to Centrepoint.
The nightclub and kids’ play area at the Portadown Road premises are to make way for indoor sports facilities while proposals have also been submitted for two outdoor pitches.
The ‘MAIL’ has learned that Zodiac’s nightclub and Mad Hatters children’s soft play area will be wound up to make room for two indoor 3G pitches, one of which will be multi-purpose.
The bar, off sales, bingo hall and bowling alley will be unaffected by the redevelopment.
Centrepoint owner Brian McCrory said: “Centrepoint is a 25-year-old chameleon. It has to change with the times and I have to bring in things that are going to make money.
“The cinema was closed because it wasn’t making profit and the same has happened now.
“I’ll be putting the pitches in and then someone else will be leasing them.”
Brian said he hoped the indoor facilities would be ready for use on May 1. The outdoor pitches remain subject to planning permission.
His son Wayne will be managing the leisure facilities along with Tony Creaney.
Wayne said the redevelopment at Centrepoint will have two indoor pitches, changing facilities and a party room for five-a-side kids’ parties. There will be disabled access and toilet facilities.
Already in place is a studio for spinning and body pump. Wayne said he hoped classes could start as early as April 1.
He said the leisure facilities would be open until midnight, seven days a week.
While the facilities will bring new job opportunities to the area, there have been a number of redundancies due to the redevelopment of Centrepoint.
Claire McGrath, who works at Mad Hatters (formerly Jumping Jacks), said: “There’s 13 staff here, four full time and the rest part time. We were told at the end of February by the person who runs it that we were getting closed down.
“We would be busy when the schools are off, but quiet during school time. It still came as a shock when we found out. I don’t think any of the staff have found any other work. I know I haven’t.”